Below Normal Temperatures and a Wet Wednesday:
We have a cooler week ahead along with wet weather before another warm up arrives in time for Memorial Day weekend. This all comes after we saw warm and humid conditions along with Showers and Thunderstorms this past weekend, mainly on Friday and Saturday. Severe weather even occurred in northern lower MI on Friday, including a strong tornado. We’ll talk details about this tornado in just a minute, but let’s discuss the forecast for the next 7 days first, including an early look at Memorial Day weekend:
To start off the work week, we’re in for a break from the rain. Today appears to be dry in Mount Pleasant and across Central Michigan as high-pressure builds, but there will be some clouds with colder air aloft. Temperatures will be cool, but comfortable, with highs sitting in the low 60s, which is a good 10 degrees below the normal high of 72 for May 22nd. Low temperatures tonight should be in the low to mid 40s. Dry weather continues Tuesday, with partly cloudy conditions. With the exception of a few more clouds and perhaps a brief, stray shower or two, Tuesday will be mostly a repeat of Monday, with highs in the low to mid-60s. Look for Tuesday night’s lows to be in the mid-40s. Wednesday, rain chances return to the forecast, with the day looking to be a washout. Rain may be heavy at times across Mid-Michigan on Wednesday. Look for highs in the mid 60s Wednesday, with lows along an incoming warm front in the upper 50s to low 60s. Thursday will be Mostly Cloudy day with showers likely, although not quite as widespread as Wednesday. Winds will shift from the south to the west throughout the day as a cold front moves through, but highs will still reach the mid-60s. For Friday, mostly cloudy skies will remain along with the chance of a linger rain shower. There is some model discrepancy as to what our highs end up being on Friday, but general mean guidance continues to support highs in the upper-60s. It is possible it could end up colder than this if overcast winds hold strong combined with a northwest breeze. On Saturday, warmer air is gradually beginning to work in under Partly Cloudy skies and highs in the lower-70s. Sunday, though is when it really warms up once again and we must introduce some low-end thunderstorms chances, although, this far out, the exact details are not clear. Sunday and Memorial Day Monday will be partly cloudy and slightly humid with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs both days will be around 80 with lows in the low-60s.
Gaylord, MI Strong EF-3 Tornado:
A strong tornado occurred on Friday in and near Gaylord, MI between 3:35PM and 3:55PM. The National Weather Service office based out of Gaylord, MI, performed a storm survey on Saturday to assess the damage path and come up with the following information. The tornado touched down 6 miles south of Elmira in Antrim County and moved northeast before lifting 1 mile northeast of Sparr in Otsego County. The Tornado impacted portions of downtown Gaylord, causing extensive damage, especially on M-32 west of I-75. It was on the ground for 16.6 miles during this 20-minute timeframe, with a maximum width of 200 yeads and maximum estimated wind speeds of up to 150 MPH. This classifies the tornado as an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, making it the first EF-3 or stronger tornado in MI since the Dexter, MI tornado in 2012. The last time Otsego county saw an EF-3 tornado touch down was in 1974! Unfortunately, there have been 44 injures and 2 fatalities reported from this May 20th, 2022 Gaylord Tornado.
Since we don’t often see strong tornadoes in MI, here is what the Enhanced Fujita scale is and how it is used to classify tornado strength based on estimated wind speeds:
EF-0…Weak…..65 to 85 MPH winds
EF-1…Weak…..86 to 110 MPH winds
EF-2…Strong…..111 to 135 MPH winds
EF-3…Strong…..136 to 165 MPH winds
EF-4…Violent…..166 to 200 MPH winds
EF-5…Violent…..>200 MPH winds
As we saw this past Friday, while not as common in MI as in other states down south, strong tornadoes can and do occur in MI. While it was impossible to pinpoint the exact city that would get hit by a tornado, the threat for severe weather was highlighted early on. In our article last Monday, we told you about the severe weather risk we were concerned about coming up on Friday. The Storm Prediction Center highlighted a severe risk for much of the lower peninsula 5 days ahead of time for this event. Sure enough, a strong tornado formed. Not everyone got hit with severe weather, which is almost always the case, but the few that do see impacts in these setups have a lot of cleanup to do. There is also loss of property and costly repairs that could completely change the way a family lives going forward.
Mid-Mitten Weather View’s Mission is to serve people by providing timely information to help keep them safe and make decisions based on the weather. We are a combined group of degreed meteorologists who have graduated from CMU and current student forecasters from the University. We look forward to catching you back here next week for another weekly 7-Day forecast update.
-Weather Forecast by Meteorologist Ethan Foreman & CMU Student Forecasters Isaac Cleland, John Jones, and Collin Lucas