WEST MICHIGAN- It is generally expected that we’re going to see some sort of stronger winter storm in November. Whether or not it is accompanied by snow or rain, there’s usually a strong wind component to it.
Why does this seem to happen this time of the year, though? A lot of these low pressure disturbances move into the Great Lakes region via Canada or the Pacific Northwest as they follow the jet stream, which helps to steer various disturbances. As these low pressure systems interact with high pressure in place, the wind speeds really increase.
We’re looking at one of those stronger low pressure systems to move into our area Friday night into Saturday. We’re starting off with warmer air overnight Friday into early AM Saturday, but then it will come crashing down. That high pressure center off the coast of the Carolinas will create a sharp pressure gradient which will enhance our wind speed Friday and Saturday.
Future wind speeds 5-6 days out forecast sustained winds between 20-30 mph and gusts over 40 mph at this time frame. However, I think the forecast models are underdoing this just a bit. I would expect wind speeds, especially along the lakeshore, to exceed 50 or 60 mph at times during this event. This will not just be a 12 hour period, either, as I think this wind event’s duration could be up to 36 hours, depending on the storm motion.
While the specific forecast details could change as we get closer, it looks like there are a few things that are nearly cemented. First of all, we’re going to see a period of much warmer air ahead of the cold blast. As of this moment, it looks like that warm sector arrives late Friday or just past midnight Saturday. Winds gusting from 50-60 mph may sound on the high side now, but this could be lowered slightly or even enhanced as we get closer to the weekend. Another thing that’s a certainty….temperatures will fall significantly behind this front, with temperatures dropping throughout the day.