Warm forecast for opening day of deer season

Hunters marching into the woods of Northern Michigan Friday will have a dry day on tap, although that changes heading into the weekend.

Strong winds rolled across Northern Michigan late Wednesday through Thursday morning leading to some power outages in spots. The highest measured gust occurred at Manistee where a 54 mph gust was measured at 7:10 p.m. Mackinac Island was next in line with a peak gust of 53 mph at 8:55 p.m. Maple City in Leelanau County and Pellston topped out at 49 mph.

While it will remain breezy Thursday with southwest winds, they will not be quite as strong with gusts in the 20-30 mph range.

Any sunshine early Thursday will start to dim as clouds sweep in ahead of a weak frontal boundary. The U.P./Straits/NW Lower Michigan will see the clouds first with locations along/south of highway M-72 basking in at least some sunshine through mid-afternoon. While no significant rain will fall, a few light rain showers will develop Thursday evening across the U.P. and portions of Northern Lower Michigan. Any light rain will be long gone by sunrise Friday with overnight low temperatures generally remaining above freezing.

For hunters heading out early Friday, while there will be some low clouds around, the day will start dry with southwest winds locked in place all day long. Winds will average 5-10 mph Friday. Again, while some cloudiness will be noted, the day will turn out dry with sunrise coming around 7:38 a.m. and the sun going down around 5:07 p.m. Friday. Temperatures will start in the low/mid-30's around sunrise and gradually warm into the low/mid-40's Friday afternoon leading to a quiet start from a weather standpoint to the hunting season.

A bigtime warming trend takes us into the weekend with south winds warming things up to 50F or so Saturday and well into the 50's to around 60F Sunday. A storm system will get here late Saturday with clouds thickening up and rain not far behind. Rain will fall Saturday night and also a good chunk of Sunday with a rumble of thunder even possible. Then, a powerful cold front sweeps through Sunday night with temperatures tumbling into the mid/upper-30's Monday and only to around 30F for a high next Tuesday with lake effect snow potential.