Waterspout outbreak possible on the Great Lakes this weekend

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GRAND RAPIDS (WOOD) — Keep those cameras handy if you are headed to the beach! The International Centre for Waterspout Research is forecasting the first significant waterspout “outbreak” of the season on the Great Lakes. Outbreaks like this usually occur in early fall but an early shot of fall-feeling air this weekend could kick things into gear early for the Great Lakes.

Where will the waterspouts be?

The best potential on our shore of Lake Michigan appears to be near Holland, Douglas, Saugatuck, South Haven, Warren Dunes, Silver Beach and New Buffalo, but really anyone on our shore should have a chance of seeing a waterspout this weekend.

The International Centre for Waterspout Research regularly issues forecast models for waterspout activity across the entire globe. This weekend looks primed for activity over the Great Lakes. Here is the forecast for this weekend with colors like yellow and red indicating the most likely chance for waterspout formation.

When should we expect to see waterspouts?

The most likely time frame for waterspout activity will be Sunday morning. A cold front is expected to drop down across Michigan Saturday night into early Sunday. This will trigger thunderstorms and bring a reinforcing shot of very chilly air above ground level.

We are not expecting waterspouts with the cold front itself, or even with the thunderstorms it triggers overnight on Saturday. Instead, it is the cold air that rushes in behind the cold front on Sunday that will likely trigger waterspout activity.

The relatively colder air will roll over Lake Michigan waters, which were reading in the 60s and 70s on Friday. This temperature difference as well as the increased vorticity, or spin, should kick up spouts across all five Great Lakes!

Waves will also increase to 1-4 feet on Sunday at area beaches, so if you head to the shore be safe before heading into the water, and if you see a waterspout, snap a pic and send it our way at reportit@woodtv.com!

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