A strong cold front is going to race through Michigan Friday night and early Saturday morning. Behind the cold front will be an uncomfortable Saturday, and a somewhat calmer Sunday.
When I talk about a “strong” cold front, there isn’t a magical threshold number the meteorology community uses. I base the word strong on what would be a meaningful weather change in a short time for us Michiganders.
Friday night’s cold front will drop temperatures from the 40s to the 20s in a matter of one hour. That’s quite a weather change. For most of us the weather change will happen in the middle of the night. We go to bed with mild temperatures Friday night and wake up to a nasty cold wind Saturday morning.
Here is the surface weather forecast showing the tight pressure gradient which makes strong wind (lots of black lines) and sharp fall in temperatures (red temp lines go to blue temp lines).
Saturday will be windy and colder. Sunday will be chilly and not as windy.
Here are the peak wind gusts expected Saturday. Most cities will have a strongest wind gust between 45 mph and 53 mph. A gust around 45 mph is going to be the most common gust.
Any meaningful snowfall Saturday will fall over northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. For most of us across southern Lower Michigan expect just occasional spurts of snow showers that don’t accumulate.
It will only be a one to three inch snow across northern Michigan, but it will blow around a lot.
Temperatures will settle into a winter feel for the weekend.
Put on the winter coat this weekend. We will all need them. Hold onto your hat Saturday. If you want to drive into northern Michigan, Sunday will be a safer day to travel than Saturday.