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Event Summary

A strong low pressure system and attendant cold front tracked across the central Great Lakes on December 11th, producing wind gusts in excess of 60 mph along with gale to storm force winds across Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, and western Lake Erie. The initial impacts of the system were felt in the evening and overnight hours of December 10-11th, with heavy rain ahead of an advancing warm front. A few rumbles of thunder were heard across the area, but severe weather stayed well to the south (with a nocturnal tornado outbreak impacting the Tennessee Valley). As SE MI became further entrenched within the warm sector during the morning hours, temperatures soared into the upper 50s (even hitting 60 F in some locations). Detroit Metro Airport reached a high of 61 F, just 1 degree below the record of 62 F. 

A cold front racing across lower MI marked the beginning of the strong wind event. A Wind Advisory was initially issued in the days prior, with high end gusts around 55 mph expected. As observations along/behind the cold front became available for the west side of the state, frequent gusts to 60+ mph prompted an upgrade to a High Wind Warning for all of southeast MI. Marine headlines were also in place: with Gale Warnings for Lake St. Clair and western Lake Erie, and Storm Warnings for all of Lake Huron. Peak wind gusts generally occurred in the 11AM-2PM timeframe, coinciding with the cold frontal passage. Widespread 50-60 mph gusts were observed, with isolated higher gusts up to 64 mph (measured at both Harbor Beach and Detroit Metro Airport). ‚Äč

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