10/11/06 NOW: Upper MI Winter Storm


Just got into Ontonagon MI and all I can say is WOW. This system is better than the tropical storms. The blowing off the lake is intense and it is starting to build up a storm surge from the looks of it. Will report more later.
If I had the money to burn, I probably would have went. But given that the models started downplaying snow amounts and wind numbers, I decided to hold back as it's roughly a 525-550 mile drive for me (one way).

As for the continued wind potential of this storm... METAR obs indicate gusts to 30knts along the lake in the Keweenaw, with buoy data indicating similar numbers out across the lake. I know from experience that METAR obs can be quite misleading when it comes to capturing those quick gusts, especially considering the lack of spatial resolution (even more so in the sparsely populated areas).

I'm still not seeing the numbers on the RUC to indicate anything more than advisory criteria / gale force winds. What's really dissapointing is the sfc-850mb speeds (or roughly the top of the mixing layer). Unlike the storms last November that had sfc-850mb speeds of 60-70knts along a secondary jet axis, this storm struggles to top 50knts. One thing I can say is that this system has a better pressure gradient force to work with, but with the system moving rapidly towards the Hudson Bay, that will probably slacken somewhat until the storm makes its "second pass".

I'm going to stick with gusts in the 40-50knt range, with perhaps an isolated 55knt gust.