Meteorology

East Lansing Gears up for Halloween Festivities

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This year's Halloween activities in East Lansing start with Safe Halloween on Thursday the 26th, and end with trick or treating on Tuesday the 31st - but there's also lots to do in between. Eli's Rosalind Arch tells you what's happening.

Special Storm Debris Collection Starts Monday

Friday, March 10, 2017

Wednesday's windstorm led to power outages, closed schools, and downed limbs and trees. In response, East Lansing's Department of Public Works is offering special debris pick-up starting Monday.

Snow and Ice Reminders and Tips

Monday, December 12, 2016

Now seems like a good time to provide some reminders and tips from ELi about snow and ice management for East Lansing residents.

Ask ELi: Was There a Tornado?

Monday, July 11, 2016

To get the official answer for our readers, we called the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.

Residents Warned in Aftermath of Storm

Friday, July 8, 2016

Above: a tree brought down in Chesterfield Hills today; photo courtesy of Jenny Flynn

In the aftermath of a serious summer storm this afternoon, East Lansing residents are being warned to be careful of downed power lines and unstable trees.

Today’s storm, which brought significant hail and rain, uprooted major trees and caused power outages throughout the East Lansing area. Power lines that are down should be assumed to be live and dangerous. Report downed power lines by calling 911.

Local Weather Ruins Another Astronomy-Viewing Opportunity, But There’s Hope

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Above: The cloud cover in East Lansing this morning.

“Cement sky” is the term used by regular ELi on Earth reporter Aron Sousa for what we’ve got overhead right now. It’s the kind of sky that makes East Lansing’s amateur astronomers like Sousa unhappy. But these night-watchers are holding out hope that the cloud cover may yet clear and they may yet get to see the unusual delight of five planets all lit up together in our early morning sky.

Balancing Road Safety and Environmental Stewardship

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The photo above shows our City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) snow and ice team—the people who clear and salt our roads when winter storms turn them dangerous. As Ron Lacasse, DPW’s Infrastructure Administrator explains, “the staff in this picture includes all areas of DPW related to the effort, including staff that plows parking lots and sidewalks as well as mechanics who keep everything serviced and repaired during a storm event. All are important pieces of the puzzle that keeps us successful.”

Observations from the other side of the world

Monday, November 23, 2015

 

As I stepped off the plane, the first thing I noticed about China was the traffic. A Chinese student who was traveling with me and fifteen other students from Michigan State University noticed the traffic, as well.

“Just so you know, guys. The cars won’t stop for you. So watch what you’re doing.”

And true to his warning, the cars heeded no rules. I often found myself leaping back onto the curb to avoid catastrophe.

But traffic and reckless drivers aren’t unique to China. I’ve had my fair share of near-collisions in East Lansing, too.

ASK ELi: Sewer Back-Ups in EL Homes

Friday, August 14, 2015

Image: East Lansing work crew dealing with a sewer

After Monday’s very heavy rain, a reader wrote to ask: “We have had this [a sewer back-up in the drain] happen in our home for three years in a row now, and East Lansing govt. says it is a freak ‘act of nature’ that they can't control. Do you know if there are any organizations discussing putting some pressure on City to deal with combined storm/sanitary sewer problems? I would like to be part of a group making this effort.”

ELi ON EARTH: Female Mosquitoes Bite East Lansing Residents

Monday, July 20, 2015

Above: The author being bitten by a local mosquito.

More than nine inches of rain in June and continued rain well into July have created mosquito development habitat in the standing water of yards, fields, and nearly any upright container in town. The mosquitoes that hatch in the summer can turn over a new generation every two weeks as long as there is standing water for their reproduction cycle, and that means we in East Lansing have at least a few more mosquito-filled weeks left in the season.

Surf's Up on the Red Cedar River

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Above: Still from a video of a surfer on the Red Cedar River in 2008

The recent heavy rains are causing a phenomenon infrequently seen on the Red Cedar River—a standing wave outside the MSU Administration Building. Unusually high levels of water combined with the small rapids in that location cause the water to curl back towards upstream.

ELI ON EARTH: Red Cedar Myths and Facts

Monday, April 27, 2015

A fisherman proudly showing off his catch on the Red Cedar River

 

The Red Cedar River is 51 miles long, flowing directly through the heart of Michigan State University and eventually into the Grand River in Lansing. The river has been a symbol of the university since 1855 and is even referenced in the first lyrics of the fight song.

It is seen by some students and community members as an “eyesore” and “unhealthy.”

Mammatus Clouds in East Lansing

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Twice this week, East Lansing has been visited by mammatus clouds and hail. Mammatus clouds and hail are not always seen together but they form in the same type of weather systems.

Mammatus clouds are puffy cloud structures that form under large storm clouds like the cumulonimbus clouds that dumped hail on East Lansing twice this week. The pictures above and below show examples of mammatus clouds in East Lansing following the hailstorm yesterday, October 6. These clouds share the same Latin root as “mammal” and “mama.” (Look at the pictures if the reason isn’t clear.)

East Lansing Sees Hail

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It hailed briefly in East Lansing on Saturday, October 4. Hail is an icy precipitation common in big thunderstorms. Hail is made up of falling layered balls of ice that are produced in cumulonimbus clouds that contain strong updrafts. The upward movement of air within the cloud is called an updraft and is a feature common to tornados and hailstorms.