WEST MICHIGAN — After a high temperature in the low/mid 60s Monday, an even warmer 75 on Tuesday, strong to severe storms Tuesday evening, and highs on Wednesday in the 60s, a huge pattern shift in the upper levels of our atmosphere will force sharply colder temperatures along with raw, blustery conditions on Thursday. We expect high temperatures to only reach the low/mid 40s on Thursday, with windy conditions making it feel in the upper 20s and lower 30s. In fact, it may be cold enough to see lake effect/enhanced cloud cover and light scattered rain showers with some wet flakes mixing in.
Take a look below at the upper level pattern. The colors on the map represent air masses. The warmer tones of green and yellow are temperatures at/above normal. The image is valid 6 A.M. Wednesday.
The next image below is valid for 6 A.M. Thursday. Note the cooler colors/tones on the map already sinking into the Great Lakes. The yellows and greens have been replaced by blue and purple. That means highs only in the low/mid 40s, about 10 to 15 degrees below normal.
The next upper level pattern image below is valid for next week Tuesday. Even colder air is expected by then with highs only around 40. In fact, we may see a few more lake effect/enhanced clouds, rain, and snow showers.
Cold air won't be the only issue on Thursday. Winds will be quite strong, driving wind chills into the 20s and 30s. Waves will also build on Lake Michigan. See our forecast wind speeds below. The image is valid for 6 P.M. on Thursday. The larger, whiter numbers are sustained winds in miles per hour over a two-minute period. The "G" numbers represent the gusts, and the arrow the direction. These wind are typically underdone by forecast models. Gusts may very well be on the order of 40 to 45 mph...especially at/near the immediate lakeshore.
Wind chills or feels like temperatures at the same time on Thursday are below.
The next image below shows wind speeds and gusts for 6 A.M. on Friday. Still brisk!
The last image below is for wind chills or feels like temperatures valid for 6 A.M. on Friday. Mainly in the 20s. Bundle up!
This cooler air is just a reminder that we can still get colder with in April. In fact, I've seen trace amounts of snow all the way into May. It just makes it a little harder to take after sunshine and highs in the 60s and 70s the last two weeks. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.