Windy This Friday

Bill's Blog

This Friday will be another fairly windy day here in Michigan . We’ll continue with winds of 15-20 mph with gusts to +30 mph. Winds will be from the northwest and it will be cooler than yesterday by 10-15 degrees. Waves on Lake Michigan will be 4-7 feet. There’s a Beach Hazards Statement that will be in effect through this evening. This is for Leelanau County south to Berrien County and around NW Indiana to Gary (Lake Co. IN). Small Craft Advisories will also be in effect. This afternoon and tomorrow, do not swim near or jump off the piers and breakwaters. There is a Lakeshore Flood Advisory for Muskegon, Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren and Berrien Counties. There were Storm Warnings for Lake Superior – that’s one step above Gale Warnings and that verified with some hefty wind gusts: 71 mph at Passage Is. and at Stannard Rock. A ship reported a 70 mph gust off of Big Bay. Houghton had a gust to 66 mph and Copper Harbor hit 53 mph. Other gusts: 52 mph at Stonington, 51 mph at Ontonagon, Freda and Calumet, 48 mph at S. Ste. Marie, 47 mph at Ford River and Bessemer, 46 mph at Kingsford and Shot Point, 45 mph at Marquette and Munising, 43 mph at Escanaba and Sundell, and 40 mph at Rapid River and Fayette. A fallen tree blocked US 41 near Trenary and trees were down at Laurium. These were mostly non-thunderstorm winds.

Waves at South Haven MI Thu. Evening 9 3 20

This was South Haven Thu. evening. Waves were averaging around 6 feet with the biggest waves over 8 feet. Winds were also strong over Lower Michigan. Here’s some gusts from N. Lower Michigan: 53 mph Northport, 46 mph Gaylord, 45 mph Roscommon, 44 mph Mackinac Island, 41 mph Oscoda, 40 mph Presque Isle.

Graph of waves at South Haven

Here’s a graph of the waves at South Haven. Note how the waves increase during the day when winds are usually stronger (more so in the summer than in the winter, when there is less of a diurnal factor). Average waves increased to over 6 feet Thursday evening.

Severe Weather Outlook Area for Thursday PM/night

This was the Severe Weather Outlook Map from the Storm Prediction Center for Thursday PM/night. There is now a Marginal Risk Area north and northeast of Grand Rapids. While we didn’t have thunderstorms, there was a line of showers – mainly north of G.R. that produced some gusty winds. The Marginal Forecast was worth the mention.

Note where the strongest storms were forecast…in the mid-Atlantic states. They had an Enhanced Risk Area out (in orange on the map). Now look below at the actual severe weather reports for Thursday:

Storm Reports from Thursday 9 3 20

There was one small tornado in Maryland (red dot on the map) and +40 reports of wind damage (blue dots). The Storm Prediction Center did an excellent job highlighting where the severe weather was going to occur. The strongest measured winds in the U.S. were still the 70 mph non-thunderstorm gusts over and near Lake Superior. I’ll leave the radars on the thread below. They should update automatically.

Click for latest Composite Reflectivity radar image from the Gaylord, MI radar and current weather warnings
Click for latest Composite Reflectivity radar image from the Grand Rapids/Muskegon, MI radar and current weather warnings

Here’s lightning data and current weather observations.

Mackinac Bridge webcam

Showers moved through the Mackinac Bridge area early Thurs. afternoon. Winds were strong enough that high profile vehicles require an escort as they cross the bridge.

Saturday looks like a nice day. We could see some rain Sunday. It looks like the cool air may be delayed a couple days and we still could be 75-80 deg. on Monday, with the cooler air getting here more toward Thursday or Friday.

One thing we look at this time of year is recurving typhoons in the Western Pacific. A typhoon has come into Korea (with 50-100 mph wind gusts) and the lack of a quick recurve is delaying the trough/ridge pattern downstream…so the trough and cool air may hang to the west of us for a few days.

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