National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Event Summary

A strong low pressure system tracking across northern Michigan dragged a powerful cold front through southeast MI during the morning hours of March 6th, supportive of 50 to 60+ mph winds across the area. The system responsible for these damaging winds initially developed in the lee of the Rocky Mountains, tracking northeast into the upper Midwest by Saturday March 5th and producing a wide swath of severe weather and tornadoes across Iowa. By the time the low and its attendant frontal boundary reached the Great Lakes region Sunday morning (March 6th), the severe threat had diminished and the main event became non-thunderstorm damaging winds. A High Wind Warning was in effect for the area as the cold front began its progression across the state, with Storm Warnings along the Lake Huron nearshore and Gale Warnings for west Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and the remainder of the Lake Huron basin. The strongest winds were felt within the immediate wake of the front, as frontal forcing helped tap into a region of 60-70 knot (70-80 mph) winds only a few thousand feet above the surface. With the effects of momentum transfer, this corresponded to widespread 50 to 60 mph wind gusts across southeast MI. A couple of 60+ mph gusts were reported as well, with MBS (Saginaw/Tri-Cities airport) reporting a 67 mph gust as the front passed through. As the front departed east and stability increased, winds began to diminish during the late morning and afternoon hours. 

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