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Wintry Mix in the Northeast; Critical Fire Weather in Southern California

A large storm will bring snow and rain over parts of the Midwest into the Northeast. Heavy lake effect snow is expected down wind from Lakes Erie and Ontario and into New England. Gusty offshore winds will drive several days of critical fire weather in southern California. Above-average to record-breaking temperatures are expected across much of Southern California into Nevada and Arizona Read More >

Back to Main Page Storm Warning: Advancements in Marine Forecasting since the Edmund Fitzgerald
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  • Forecast Format

Forecast Format

An increase in observation and weather prediction technology has enabled the marine forecaster to add detail, in both time and space, to the open lake and nearshore forecasts. In 1975, the Open Lake Forecast only covered 24 hours while technology of the era allowed for only minimal detail by 21st century standards. A single weather synopsis was issued for both Lakes Superior and Michigan daily. Today, separate forecasts are issued for each lake. Within each forecast is a customized synopsis as well as wind, weather, and wave information out to 5 days. 

Great Lakes forecasts today also use increased geographical references to highlight local effects that will produce higher winds and/or waves. An example of this on Lake Superior occurs when a west to northwest wind prevails along the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The funneling winds along the land mass of the Keweenaw often produces higher waves off the north shore of Manitou Island and the peninsula, an area very close to the commercial shipping lanes. This added spatial detail gives the marine community a "heads up" to weather that will likely deviate from the general conditions experienced on the majority of the lake.

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