Natalie Stoll

Drought update

April 17th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by under Weather

It’s no secret we’ve seen little rain this winter. Rainfall totals at Camp Mabry in Austin fall well below the averages for the first three months of the year.

 4-17 Rain totals
 April’s rain hasn’t helped much as far as our drought goes. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor still has all of the Hill Country in extreme drought while areas from Austin east range from abnormally dry to moderate drought.
20140415_tx_none

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
112 PM CDT THU APR 17 2014

...DESPITE SPOTTY RAINFALL DROUGHT CONDITIONS OVER THE PAST WEEK
HAVE GOTTEN WORSE...

SYNOPSIS...

APRIL HAS SEEN BOTH WARM AND COLD TEMPERATURES AND A COUPLE OF
RAINFALL EVENTS. FOR THE MOST PART RAINFALL HAS BEEN SPOTTY AND
LESS THAN ONE-HALF INCH...BUT A FEW LOCATIONS HAVE SEEN RAINFALL
OF ONE TO TWO INCHES. NOW THAT WE ARE MOVING INTO SPRING SOME OF
THE STORMS HAVE BEEN STRONG TO SEVERE WITH HAIL AND HIGH WINDS.
FOR THE MONTH TO DATE MOST LOCATIONS HAVE SEEN LESS THAN ONE INCH
OF RAINFALL. OVER THE RIO GRANDE PLAINS MANY LOCATIONS HAVE SEE NO
RAINFALL IN APRIL AND LESS THAN A HALF INCH SINCE JANUARY 1ST. THE
NEXT SEVERAL DAYS WILL SEE TEMPERATURES NEAR OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE MID
APRIL AVERAGES. THERE WILL BE A COUPLE OF CHANCES FOR AT LEAST
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. SHORT TERM DROUGHT IMPACTS
REMAIN AT A MINIMUM IN MANY LOCATIONS...BUT WILL GET WORSE IF
DRIER CONDITIONS CONTINUE. CURRENTLY THE MAIN SHORT TERM IMPACTS
ARE MANY LOCATIONS HAVE WATER RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE. FIRE WEATHER
CONCERNS ARE INCREASING DUE TO MAINLY LIGHT RAINFALL AMOUNTS...
GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES THAT QUICKLY DRY THE FUELS. LONG
TERM IMPACTS CONTINUE SINCE WE HAVE BEEN IN A MULTIPLE YEAR
DROUGHT. RIVERS...LAKES...RESERVOIRS AND AQUIFERS ARE VERY LOW AND
WILL REMAIN THAT WAY UNLESS WE CONTINUE TO SEE FREQUENT RAINFALL
EVENTS.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) IS FORECASTING THE ENSO (EL
NINO SOUTHERN OSCILLATION) NEUTRAL PATTERN TO CONTINUE INTO
SUMMER 2014. THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED AN EL NINO
WATCH...SAYING THERE IS A 50 PERCENT OR GREATER CHANCE AN EL NINO
EVENT WILL DEVELOP IN THE SUMMER OR EARLY FALL. EVEN THOUGH LA
NINA AND EL NINO EVENTS HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS ACROSS THE
REGION...OTHER CIRCULATIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE HELP DRIVE WEATHER
PATTERNS TOO... SO WE SHOULD NOT JUST BE LOOKING AT ONE
PATTERN...BUT OTHERS AS WELL TO POTENTIALLY PROVIDE RAINFALL FOR
THE REGION.

THE US DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM) VALID APRIL 15TH AND ISSUED ON APRIL
17TH INDICATED DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE GOTTEN SLIGHTLY WORSE
ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS OVER THE PAST WEEK.
ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) TO EXTREME DROUGHT (D3) CONDITIONS WERE
PRESENT ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS. MOST LOCATIONS ARE CURRENTLY
IN MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) TO SEVERE DROUGHT (D2) STATUS. THERE
CONTINUED TO BE AREAS OF EXTREME DROUGHT (D3) ACROSS THE RIO
GRANDE PLAINS AND PORTIONS THE HILL COUNTRY...MAINLY IN
GILLESPIE...KERR... BANDERA...MEDINA AND VAL VERDE COUNTIES.

CURRENTLY 66 PERCENT OF THE STATE IS IN MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) TO
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT (D4) AND TEN PERCENT OF THE STATE IS IN
EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT STATUS.

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Llano weather radio transmitter still awaits repairs

April 13th, 2014 at 6:50 am by under Weather

We have an update to an earlier story KXAN covered last week. The Llano NOAA weather radio transmitter is still unavailable. National Weather Service officials hoped it’d be up and working by the end of last week but it’s repair has now been scheduled for Tuesday of this coming week.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
859 PM CDT SAT APR 12 2014

...LLANO NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER WWF-91 REMAINS OFF THE AIR...

THE LLANO NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER WWF-91 WHICH OPERATES ON
162.425 MHZ IS CURRENTLY OFF THE AIR. THE TRANSMITTER AND
EQUIPMENT WAS DAMAGED FROM A LIGHTNING STRIKE. THE TRANSMITTER
AND WEATHER RADIO BROADCAST WILL BE OFF THE AIR UNTIL REPAIRS CAN
BE MADE. DUE TO THE HEIGHT OF THE TOWER...SPECIALLY TRAINED
TECHNICIANS ARE HAVING TO BE BROUGHT IN. THE CREW IS SCHEDULED TO
WORK ON THE TRANSMITTER EARLY NEXT WEEK. 

RESIDENTS MAY BE ABLE TO RECEIVE BROADCASTS FROM NEARBY TRANSMITTERS
IN AUSTIN 162.400 MHZ...KERRVILLE 162.450 MHZ...AND SAN SABA
162.525 MHZ OR GO DIRECTLY TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
WEBPAGE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/AUSTIN


Parts of Central Texas are included in a slight risk area for severe weather Sunday. Those in the Hill Country with a weather radio that isn't working, try tuning in to a neighboring tower. There is some overlap. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible as a dryline moves into the Hill Country.
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Cedar Park Weather Spotter Class

April 9th, 2014 at 11:44 am by under Weather

 

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Austin/San Antonio Skywarn Program

The Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service Office offers Skywarn severe weather training throughout year. Most Skywarn trainings are conducted in the Spring to coincide with severe weather season and allow citizens, first responders, emergency management, amateur radio operators, and volunteer organizations the opportunity to learn about severe weather preparedness and safety. Scheduled trainings are free and open to the general public. There is no pre-registration unless specifically noted on the schedule or link.

After training is complete, usually 1.5 hours for the BASIC training, you will be an official weather spotter for the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service will count on you to be our “eyes” out in the field, when trying to verify severe weather across South Central Texas. With 33 counties under the jurisdiction of the Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service, it becomes very important to verify and accurately determine where severe weather is occurring. Real time reports to our office can save lives and property. Post storm reports can help help us find severe weather damage, tornado tracks, and verify severe weather warnings.

Skywarn training is now also offered online. This online training can be found at https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23. This online training should only be used to supplement what is taught at a local NWS Skywarn training. Attendance at a local NWS Skywarn training is highly encouraged. Besides learning about severe weather topics specific to South Central Texas, procedures for reporting severe weather to the local Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service Office are also covered.

Please join us at one of the scheduled trainings. Additional trainings will be added to this site. If you would like the NWS to schedule a training in your area or schedule for a specific group, please contact Paul Yura, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, at 830-629-0130 ext 223 or email paul.yura@noaa.gov

Check the schedule often, trainings will be added throughout the Spring

 

 


Sunday rainfall totals

April 6th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by under Weather

Sunday’s showers and thunderstorms left behind rain totals between just a trace to just more than 0.75″. It’s not nearly enough to put a dent on our drought. Rain totals remain more than 5 inches behind normal for the year at Camp Mabry in Austin.

4-6 Rain totals

Here are more totals from the LCRA Hydromet.

LCRA – Rainfall Summary

​Units in inches

This information comes from LCRA’s network of remote gauges. Most of the gauges have no public access.

 Buchanan

Location 1 Hour 3 Hour 6 Hour 24 Hour Since Midnight
Bangs 6 W 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.12 0.12
Blanket 4 S 0.01 0.01 0.03 0.11 0.11
Brady 11 E 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.05 0.05
Brady Creek at Brady 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.03
Brownwood 10 SSW 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.19 0.19
Brownwood 4 SE 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.18 0.18
Buchanan Dam 1 ENE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.05
Burkett 9 S 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.03
Burnet 5 NNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.41 0.41
Cherokee 10 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01
Cherokee 2 NNW 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Cherokee 4 E 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.02
Cherokee 6 WSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Cherokee 8 NNE 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.05 0.05
Cherokee Creek near Bend 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.04 0.04
Clyde 6 S 0.00 0.01 0.05 0.08 0.08
Colorado River at Bend 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.03
Colorado River at Winchell 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.07 0.07
Colorado River near Goldthwaite 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.03
Colorado River near San Saba 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.09 0.09
Cross Plains 6 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.43 0.43
Eden 3 S 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Eldorado 2 E 0.09 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10
Fort McKavett 6 NW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Gouldbusk 4 N 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lake Buchanan at Cedar Point 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.10 0.10
Lampasas 10 WSW 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.09 0.09
Lampasas 11 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.21 0.21
Lampasas 13 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.12 0.12
Lawn 5 E 0.00 0.00 0.11 0.21 0.21
Lohn 3 WSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lometa 2 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.10 0.10
Mason 13 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Mason 15 NNE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.02
May 1 N 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Melvin 2 S 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Menard 11 NE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Menard 14 E 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Millersview 7 WSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Mullin 5 NE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.05 0.04
Pecan Bayou at Hwy 279 0.02 0.02 0.05 0.06 0.06
Pecan Bayou near Mullin 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.09 0.09
Richland Springs 11 N 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.07 0.07
Richland Springs 6 NE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.13 0.13
Richland Springs 6 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.09 0.09
Richland Springs 7 S 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.14 0.14
Rochelle 5 NNW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.05
San Saba 15 ESE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.07 0.07
San Saba 15 SW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.08 0.08
San Saba 6 S 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.02 0.02
San Saba 8 ESE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.06 0.06
San Saba 8 W 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.34 0.34
San Saba River at Menard 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
San Saba River at San Saba 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01
San Saba River near Brady 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Sonora 17 ENE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Tow 10 ESE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Tow 10 NNW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Tow 11 ENE 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.04 0.04
Tow 11 N 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.11 0.11
Tow 5 SSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.17 0.17
Tow 9 NNE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.21 0.21

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More days of extreme rainfall possible

March 23rd, 2014 at 9:06 pm by under Weather

Parts of the country could see more heavy rain events as global temperatures climb. Here’s a look at the climate models from NOAA.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

According to the 2009 National Climate Assessment, heavy downpours have increased in frequency and intensity during the last 50 years. Models predict that downpours will become still more more frequent and intense as greenhouse gas emissions and the planet’s temperature continue to rise.

The map above shows predicted changes in the annual number of days of extreme rainfall (defined as rainfall totals in excess of the historic 98th percentile) across the United States by 2041-2070 as compared to 1971-2000 if greenhouse gases continue to increase at a high rate (A2 scenario). By mid-century, some places could experience two or more additional days per year on which the rainfall totals exceed the heaviest rains historically experienced in the area.

Climate models project increasing days of extreme rainfall in the Northwest, Midwest, and parts of the Northeast, including some populated coastal areas that are already challenged by inundation and sea level rise. Several major watersheds are predicted to have more days of extreme rainfall by the middle of the century, including the Pacific Northwest, the Ohio River Basin, the Great Lakes, and parts of the Great River and Missouri River Basin. Meanwhile, the Southwest and some other areas frequented by drought are expected to see little difference in the number of extreme rainfall days.

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NOAA’s Spring Outlook

March 20th, 2014 at 11:18 am by under Weather

March 20, 2014

According to NOAA’s Spring Outlook released today, rivers in half of the continental United States are at minor or moderate risk of exceeding flood levels this spring with the highest threat in the southern Great Lakes region due to above-average snowpack and a deep layer of frozen ground. Additionally, drought is expected to continue in California and the Southwest.

The continuation of winter weather, above-average snowpack, frozen ground and thick ice coverage on streams and rivers will delay spring flooding into April in the upper Midwest eastward to New England. The intensity of the flooding will depend on the rate of snow and ice melt, and future rainfall.

Continued well-below average temperatures this winter resulted in significant river ice formation and ice jams in locations further south than customary, flooding homes and businesses, and impacting river commerce. There is also an elevated risk of more ice jams this spring in the northern tier of the U.S. from Montana eastward to northern New England.

“This year’s spring flood potential is widespread and includes rivers in highly populated areas putting millions of Americans at risk,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Although widespread major river flooding is not expected, an abrupt warming or heavy rainfall event could lead to isolated major flooding.”

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

Spring Flood Risk

National Weather Service hydrologists predict moderate flooding in parts of southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan and portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa as a result of the current snowpack and the deep layer of frozen ground coupled with expected seasonal temperatures and rainfall. At risk are the Mississippi River and the Illinois River as well as many smaller rivers in these regions. Small streams and rivers in the lower Missouri basin in Missouri and eastern Kansas have already experienced minor flooding this year and the threat of moderate flooding will persist through the spring.

There is a risk of moderate flooding along the Red River of the North between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, and along the Souris River below Minot, N.D. River ice, snowpack and significant frozen ground are factors in the flood risk for this area. Additionally, there is a risk of moderate flooding for western South Dakota because of current saturated soils.

Minor flooding is likely in the northern Rockies, parts of the Midwest, and the Great Lakes region. Minor flooding is also possible in the Northeast, the lower Mississippi River basin, and across the entire Southeast up to Virginia, including east Texas, and parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and the Florida panhandle. In these areas, spring flood risk is highly dependent on rainfall.

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National Flood Safety Awareness Week

March 16th, 2014 at 4:41 pm by under Weather

This is National Flood Safety Awareness Week. We’re no stranger to flash flooding in Central Texas. Our most recent event, the Halloween floods, highlights the danger. So, this is the time to make a plan and brush up on flood safety.

 

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Here are the terms we, as meteorologists, use during a weather event that has the potential for flooding.

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

You also often hear us say “Turn Around Don’t Drown”. It was a program launched 10 years ago here in Texas.

The National “Turn Around Don’t Drown” Program turns 10 years old in 2014

Flooding remains one of the top weather killers in the U.S., with the average number of annual fatalities totaling near 90. More than half of these fatalities are vehicle-related. The National Weather Service has been working to bring those numbers down and, for the past decade, has been doing so using its “Turn Around Don’t Drown” campaign, which is dedicated to teaching the public about flood safety.

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Wind Advisory in effect behind cold front

March 15th, 2014 at 6:24 pm by under Weather

Late Saturday night, a cold front will push through Central Texas. It’ll arrive in Austin before sunrise Sunday. Along with a few showers and cooler temperatures, the front will usher in strong north winds.

3-15 Wind advisory

The NWS has issued a Wind Advisory for all of Central Texas from 8 a.m. Sunday until 8 p.m. Winds could gust up to 40 mph.

Wind Advisory


NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
339 PM CDT SAT MAR 15 2014

...STRONG COLD FRONT PUSHING ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS
SUNDAY WILL CREATE WINDY CONDITIONS...

.WINDY CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ALL DAY SUNDAY ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL
TEXAS IN THE WAKE OF A STRONG COLD FRONT. GUSTY NORTH WINDS OF 20
TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED ACROSS MOST AREAS. WINDS UP TO 40 MPH ARE
POSSIBLE ACROSS HIGHER ELEVATIONS. WINDS WILL DECREASE A BIT
SUNDAY EVENING BUT BREEZY CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PREVAIL
THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT PERIOD.

TXZ171>173-183>194-202>209-217>225-228-160445-
/O.NEW.KEWX.WI.Y.0005.140316T1300Z-140317T0100Z/
LLANO-BURNET-WILLIAMSON-VAL VERDE-EDWARDS-REAL-KERR-BANDERA-
GILLESPIE-KENDALL-BLANCO-HAYS-TRAVIS-BASTROP-LEE-KINNEY-UVALDE-
MEDINA-BEXAR-COMAL-GUADALUPE-CALDWELL-FAYETTE-MAVERICK-ZAVALA-
FRIO-ATASCOSA-WILSON-KARNES-GONZALES-DE WITT-LAVACA-DIMMIT-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LLANO...BURNET...GEORGETOWN...DEL RIO...
ROCKSPRINGS...LEAKEY...KERRVILLE...BANDERA...FREDERICKSBURG...
BOERNE...BLANCO...SAN MARCOS...AUSTIN...BASTROP...GIDDINGS...
BRACKETTVILLE...UVALDE...HONDO...SAN ANTONIO...NEW BRAUNFELS...
SEGUIN...LOCKHART...LA GRANGE...EAGLE PASS...CRYSTAL CITY...
PEARSALL...PLEASANTON...FLORESVILLE...KARNES CITY...GONZALES...
CUERO...HALLETTSVILLE...CARRIZO SPRINGS
339 PM CDT SAT MAR 15 2014

...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM TO 8 PM CDT SUNDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO HAS ISSUED A
WIND ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM TO 8 PM CDT SUNDAY.

* TIMING...8 AM TO 8 PM SUNDAY.

* WINDS...20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH.

* IMPACTS...TAKE ACTION TO SECURE TRASH CANS...LAWN FURNITURE AND
  OTHER LOOSE OR LIGHTWEIGHT OUTDOOR OBJECTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WINDS OF 26 TO 39 MPH ARE
EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...
ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.


Small threat for severe storms Saturday

March 14th, 2014 at 9:49 pm by under Weather

An upper level low pressure system and surface cold front set to traverse Texas this weekend will bring decent rain chances Saturday. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible. A few of the thunderstorms could become severe over areas north of Austin.

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The Storm Prediction Center has a slight risk for severe storms area over NE Texas.

day2otlk_1730

The southern edge includes Burnet, Williamson, Lampasas and Milam counties. The main threats are large hail and locally strong wind gusts.

Keep your eye on the interactive radar at KXAN.com and on the KXAN app.

 

 


Coldest winter in four years

March 13th, 2014 at 6:02 pm by under Weather

For many parts of the country, it’s seemed like a never-ending winter. It’s only the 34th coldest on record, but it’s the coldest in four years.

The National Climatic Data Center lists this winter’s and February’s climate highlights.

monthlysigeventmap-022014-sm

Climate Highlights — winter (December 2013 – February 2014)

  • The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during the winter was 31.3°F, 1.0°F below the 20th century average. This winter ranked as the 34th coldest winter on record and the coldest since 2009/10.
  • Below-average temperatures dominated east of the Rockies, with the coldest conditions occurring across the Midwest. Numerous cold Arctic air outbreaks impacted the region during the winter season, particularly during January and February. Seven Midwestern states were much colder than average and had a top ten cold winter season, though no state was record cold.
  • The persistent cold during winter resulted in 91 percent of the Great Lakes being frozen by the beginning of March, according to NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. This was second largest ice cover for the Great Lakes since records began in 1973, and only surpassed by the Great Lakes ice cover in 1979. (more…)