As the low pressure system that is over the Central Plains states moves northeast, portions of the Midwest including the Great Lakes could see periods of heavy rain and thunderstorm activity this week. Meanwhile, temperatures in the 60s and 70s across the Northeast and Midwest will vault some cities into record territory as those temps are 20 to 35 degrees above normal range for mid-March.
The National Weather Service is reporting that the metro Detroit area could receive heavy rain today along with a few thunderstorms. The bad weather is forecast to roll into the Motor City just around the late afternoon’s rush hour. Detroit will see temperatures reach into the 60s today. The warmth will continue to linger for the remainder of the week with the high Wednesday possibly hitting a balmy 70 degrees. The warm weather will then be replaced by cooler air which may bring with it some more thunderstorms for the metropolitan Detroit area as well as for many parts of southern lower Michigan.
The National Weather Service is advising people living in the Great Lakes region to listen to weather reports because there is a chance of tornadoes breaking out along the line of thunderstorms that are moving east from the Chicago area. This is unusual as rarely do tornadoes develop so far north this early in the year.
A strong upper atmospheric disturbance will travel over Wisconsin and Michigan today, setting up some unstable weather conditions. The cold air high in the atmosphere will overlap with the warm ground-level air, creating conditions which are just right for thunderstorms and tornadoes to develop.
Oddly, exactly 36 years ago to the day on March 12th, 1976, twenty-one tornadoes developed over the area that stretches between Chicago and southern lower Michigan.
This early arrival of unstable warm air is a good time to remind residents of the Midwest to be aware of their community’s severe weather alerts. It is also time to review home tornado warning plans and to put together a emergency kit in case of bad weather. Emergency kits should contain medications, first aid supplies, bottled water, working cell phone, flashlights, transistor radio and extra batteries.