Dangerous Waterspouts Possible On Michigan Lakes Over Next 2 Days

WWJ News
August 03, 2020 - 12:45 pm

FILE - A waterspout over a lake.(Getty)


(WWJ) Boaters take note: Conditions will be right for dangerous waterspouts in Michigan over the next couple of days. 

AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore says waterspouts — tornado-like twisters that form over bodies of water — are possible Monday and Tuesday, on Lake St. Clair and elsewhere in the state. 

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"We could see a shower or thunderstorm, especially when we get into the afternoon and evening," DeVore said, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950 this morning. "Any of those could have gusty winds over land and could trigger some waterspouts over the bigger lakes. Watch for that potential later today, especially closer to Detroit."

DeVore said temperatures will remain cooler than normal, with another shower or thunderstorm possible on Tuesday. "And again that has the potential to spin something up in terms of a gusty wind or a waterspout over the lakes," DeVore said.

While they certainly look intimidating, waterspouts are generally weaker than tornadoes and dissipate when they reach land.

However, what waterspouts have in common with tornadoes is the intense, and potentially dangerous, high speed rotation — so they can be extremely dangerous for boaters. 


According to Bruce B. Smith, a Meteorologist with National Weather Service in Gaylord, waterspouts occur most frequently in Michigan during the months of August, September and October, when the waters of the Great Lakes are near their warmest levels of the year.

Waterspout formation typically occurs when cold air moves across a lake and results in large temperature differences between the warm water and the overriding cold air. They tend to last from about two to twenty minutes, and move along at speeds of 10 to 15 knots. Learn more about waterspouts from the NWS here

Looking ahead at the forecast for this week, Dean says Metro Detroit will "nicer weather" Wednesday and Thursday, with comfortable temperatures in the uppers 70s. 

He added, "Friday looks nice: Low 80s and shine, warmer temperatures, still low humidity." 

For the latest forecast, stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 for the updated forecast, every 10 minutes on the 8s. >>LISTEN LIVE NOW