Storms in the forecast for Friday afternoon and evening
A cold front sweeping across Northern Michigan Friday will bring relief from the heat and humidity - but also bring storms which may become severe.
Parts of the E. U.P. and Northern Lower have already seen strong storms move through during the morning hours. Many areas picked up over an inch of rain. There are also reports of trees (one foot diameter) down in Atlanta (Montmorency County) from high wind gusts, and scattered trees and power lines down countywide in Alcona County (reported from law enforcement in Harrisville).
Temperatures at 5am for many of us were already in the upper 70s and low 80s - and we have one more afternoon of the stickiness. There is a heat advisory in effect for most of the L.P. (forms a line from the Grand Traverse area towards Rogers City and southward) until 8pm Friday. Temps this afternoon will run around 90 degrees, with a heat index having it feel around 100.
If you're headed to the beach for relief, there is a lakeshore hazard message for Mason, Oceana, and Muskegon counties. This includes the beaches of: Lake Michigan Rec Area, Ludington State Park, Stearns Park, Charles Mears State Park, Silver Lake State Park, Benona Twp Park, Claybanks Twp Park, Muskegon State Park, PJ Hoffmaster State Park, Duck Lake State Park, Pere Marquette Park, and Meinert Park. It continues through this evening. Southwest winds at 15-25mph, gusts near 40mph possible, are creating wave heights of 3-7 feet - high wave and dangerous swimming conditions are expected along beaches from Muskegon to Manistee. Strong structural currents and longshore currents are expected, and rip currents are possible.
Although Northern Michigan is getting a bit of a break from the storm activity during the later morning/very early afternoon, more storms are expected this afternoon and into the evening. These storms have the potential to become severe as the cool, dry air from Canada meets the hot, humid air in place.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed most of the L.P. in a slight risk for severe weather for Friday. The main threats will be damaging winds (gusts in excess of 60mph) and heavy rain, but there is the possibility of large hail (1" diameter or larger) and an isolated tornado can't be ruled out. The main time frame of concern will be between 2pm-10pm.
A line of storms is expected to move across Lake Michigan, entering Northern Michigan around 2:30 to 3pm. Most storms will be moving southward and eastward at around 40mph. Showers and storms are expected to become more widespread throughout the afternoon and into the evening before pushing into Southern Michigan.
Remember, if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued for your area, you should seek shelter in a sturdy building until the storm has passed.
We'll continue to keep you updated on the severe weather throughout the afternoon and evening.
Now for the good news - behind this system we'll have northerly winds, giving us cooler, drier air. Although Saturday will be a bit breezy, high temperatures for the weekend will be in the low to mid 70s with plenty of sunshine. This is how we'll start the workweek as well, warming up a bit before rain chances return Tuesday.