That’s what happened again today. They called me in on my day off, and I watched 15,000 to 30,000 ft storms form and die, and mush together into a couple rain masses. Nothing particularly interesting with these storms, except the two that merged and we put a tornado warning out on. The emergency manager for one of the counties said that they had some power outages, but no confirmed funnels or tornadoes. So the severe thunderstorm probably, but a tornado? Probably not. So nothing much to watch. I was cut loose around 5pm as the new shift came in and it looked like the day was going to turn out to be a dud.
We have a cold front that will move through the Upper Great Lakes today. It looks like it will come through northern Michigan during the afternoon or peak heating. This has been the next best set up since the wind event 10 days ago.
Will it be as severe? Possibly, but not likely. The best severe weather producer will be straight lined winds. There is a small chance for tornadoes. Reading the SPC discussion, the things working against us is the cloud cover, and that the thunder yesterday and last night have lowered the lapse rates in the mid levels of the atmosphere. So thunderstorms are likely, but there is only a chance of severe.
Here are some aerial photographs and videos from the Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City…
I knew things were going to be active when I looked and saw the weather story graphic out of the office showing us in an enhanced risk yesterday morning, up from the slight risk the night before. I got ready for church and got there around 830a for music practice. Between 930 am and 1000am, my phone goes off. The office is calling me? Sure enough, I’m being called in for work.
I was able to get through the first part of the service, before I hopped in the car, stopped at BK and S&K for food and drinks, and then onto the office.
From there it was a blur, with wave after wave of thunderstorms (4 waves while I was there) pushed from northern Wisconsin across Lake Michigan and into northern lower Michigan. I happened a to get the large bow echo/LEWP that came onshore for the afternoon. That storm caused tree damage from Glen Arbor to Oscoda. The picture to the left is from my front yard. Pretty tame compared to other places where the winds brought down trees, we just had a few limbs and the power went out.
There was a supercell type thunderstorm in the wave preceding mine, in that we had a hailstone of 4.25″!
Like I said, “What a day!”
I’m up this morning, because I finished my round of night shifts to nights ago, and there will be damage surveys today. I may work the forecast desk or go out it will depend once the managers come up with a plan for the day.
I’m not making fun of the convection as we say in the office, but it seems that since 2007 we have had a dearth of severe weather in northern Michigan (That’s another post). I now have a saying that if SPC has an outlook for northern Michigan, reduce the categories by one (based on what has happened during the last 8 years. So with that considered, the marginal/slight risk we have for tomorrow(Friday), and a little of the area on Saturday, it looks like there will be thunderstorms, probably some isolated severe, in the slight area, and general thunderstorms in the marginal area.
The one thing about the Sunday outlook in the bottom right part of the picture is that those could have a slight risk as we typically get the thunderstorms that roll south of M-55 which do end up severe. The timing looks like Saturday night based on the Day 2 and Day 3 outlooks and from what the office is saying in it’s graphic. So for those of you at Alpenfest in Gaylord, you will probably finish out the festival before the thunderstorms roll in. It will be the tear down crews that may have t-storms move in on them. Based on the Hazardous Weather Outlook from the office, the type of storm, is mainly wind.
Does that mean we won’t have severe thunderstorms? No. There is a chance, but based on how the last 8 years have turned out, I wouldn’t be surprised. So keep an eye on the weather tomorrow night, especially with so much moisture in the air, and the heat expected ahead of the cold front. Here’s what the map will look like at 8pm tomorrow night:
I have a few minutes, so I thought I would do as I used to in the past, and give the weekend outlook. The graphic is a copy of the icon that is used for a sunny day off the 7-day forecast from the NWS’s forecast.weather.gov site. This pretty much sums up the idea of the weather for the next several days. Sunny skies and highs in the lower to mid 80s around northern Michigan. High pressure will sit over the region through the weekend. So pretty much beach weather is expected.
The only thing is that you might want to try an inland lake as the water temperatures at the surrounding Great Lakes are 60˚ to 65˚F. Unless you wear a wet suit.
Although boating this weekend should be fun, even on the Great Lakes as the winds will be light and waves less than a foot.
Keep the sunscreen handy if you are at any festivals this weekend. There will be a lot of burned people.
As a side note, I may begin to record these again, and create a podcast. If I do, it will be on YouTube as I can have it host them, and I have the ability to work with audio and video.