Weather ‘bubble’ seems to spare Michigan

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

So far for the month of May, Michigan has had significantly fewer instances of severe weather compared to surrounding states.

According to a map by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center, Michigan has had two severe weather reports during the month. That’s far less than 86 in Ohio, 121 in Illinois and 125 in Wisconsin.

The NOAA map puts Michigan in almost a protective bubble, appearing as if the state had an atmospheric shield while surrounding states were pounded with severe weather in May. While dots indicating tornadoes, wind damage and large hail are scattered throughout those states, Michigan appears almost unscathed by severe weather.

One reason could be the effect of Lake Erie’s cold waters on Michigan’s weather in early May as a warm front attempts to push through, said Alex Manion, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.

“We do get some shelter from Lake Erie, especially in the springtime,” he said. “There is cold, stable water.”

Manion said as water temperatures warm up in late May and into June, the temperature difference between land and water decreases. That means the shielding capability from the wind diminishes.

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