Lake Superior hit with first fierce gales of November

The Detroit News

Forty-six years after a fierce storm claimed the Edmund Fitzgerald, Lake Superior has been hit with the first major storm of November.

A fierce early season Great Lakes storm moved in overnight from Minnesota and some locations around northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula were reporting 48 mph winds just after 4 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Warnings were issued for lakeshore flooding and beach erosion.

At Stannard Rock in Lake Superior, wind speeds of 46 mph have been recorded, with gusts up to 57 mph since midnight.

"Early this morning, most numerous shower activity continues across the Tip of the Mitt into eastern upper ahead of the system`s warm front that's currently slowing its northward progression across southern/central Michigan," the National Weather Service's Marquette office said early Thursday.

The weather service posted a gale warning for much of Lake Superior through 7 p.m. Thursday.

Winds were picking up mid-morning in northern Michigan, with gusts up to 30 mph, and mid-Michigan and the southeast were starting to record gusts nearing 25 mph. The first hints of rain were felt in southwest Michigan as a front moves over southern Lake Michigan.

Temperatures were expected to climb into the low 60s for southeast Michigan, until a cold front moves in later Thursday.

"This will be our last milder day until at least midweek next week," the National Weather Service in Pontiac says.

It was less than a half-century ago, on Nov. 10, 1975, that Lake Superior claimed the ore-hauling ship the Fitzgerald and all 29 crewmembers near Whitefish Point in the Upper Peninsula. The shipwreck spawned a hit song by Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

More:Great Lakes' record warmth to fuel lake effect snow

The aftermath of this week's Lake Superior storm can be expected to produce high winds and lake-effect snow for much of western Michigan. The cold air descending over the Great Lakes, which posted seasonal record-high temperatures so far this fall, is likely to produce snow, reported.