“Watch out for the gales of November” as Gordon Lightfoot said in his song about the Edmund Fitzgerald. A strong low pressure system will bring very gusty wind, heavy rain and even snow in portions of the northern Great Lakes. The storm looks to hit next weekend and bring effects that last into the travel season before Thanksgiving.
Lake effect snow could cause travel delays as Thanksgiving week begins. Overall the weather pattern is already pretty cold across much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast. Vermont and Maine are seeing light snow showers today and that’s a precursor of things to come.
The rest of this week sees chilly temperatures, but no big snow. Our weekend system sets up Thursday night and Friday from the central Plains and into the Midwest with a strengthening low pressure. The low will likely ride up into the Great Lakes pulling in relatively mild air to its south.
The low pressure system will likely be pretty potent meaning strong winds and even the threat for severe storms in the Midwest and Mississippi Valley. The best risk of storms would be Friday and Saturday. It’s still a few days away, but winds, hail and tornadoes could all be in play.
Where’s The Snow?
On the northern side of the system there could be some snow possible in Wisconsin and northern Michigan. The track of the low will depend on who is cold enough to see some snow.
Cold air likely rushes in behind a cold front. Computer forecast models are in good agreement for well below average temperatures from the Arctic blast. The frigid air over the relatively warm lakes might make for a good lake effect snow setup. The lake effect snow could start Saturday night and last a few days. It’s a week away so we can only talk about general trends. We don’t know the wind direction, amount of moisture or cold air yet. Check out the ingredients for lake effect snow.
There is higher confidence that it will get cold. Temperatures likely drop below average for a good chunk of the eastern half of the country. In some spots temperatures could trend 20 degrees below normal. That’s some impressive cold air for mid November.
There are some signs that the cold air could be pretty common going through the rest of November. This would likely include a pretty chilly Thanksgiving. A blocking pattern known as a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (-NAO) is setting up. That means a high pressure area over Greenland that helps force Canadian air into the Plains and East.
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