Weather pattern reeks of some Michigan city flirting with 100 degrees


The upper-air pattern by this weekend will easily support temperatures in the mid-90s. It even looks like a pattern that could produce 100 degrees in one Michigan location.

We look to the upper-air pattern to see what kind of surface temperatures it could produce. It’s like looking at the horsepower of an engine to figure out the top speed of a car.

The upper-air pattern by Saturday, June 30, says we will get hot here in Michigan- all of Michigan.

The image above shows the atmosphere at one certain air pressure – 500 millibars. The numbers on the map show how high in the atmosphere that 500 millibar surface is. Hang with me. I’m not going to stay too technical. 

The big take-away for you is to see that closed high pressure center just southeast of Michigan. That warm of an upper-air pattern would produce mid-90s over most of Michigan.

Now look just a little lower to 5,000 feet up.

Temperature forecast (in Celsius) at 5,000 feet up at 8 p.m. June 30, 2018. 

The temperatures at 5,000 feet up this coming Saturday will be around 22 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius. I’m sorry about the Celsius units. That’s the way the rest of the meteorological world talks, and we play along in the U.S.

Those 5,000 foot temperatures also support 95 degrees to 100 degrees.

Who could get to 100 degrees, and what would it take? 

There is one location in Lower Michigan that sometimes has the surprisingly hottest temperature in a pattern like this – Alpena. Not surprisingly, the model data continues to show Alpena flirting with 100 degrees.

High temperature forecast for June 30, 2018 from the Global Forecast System weather model. 

Alpena, and possibly a few other locations, will need a few things to hit 100 degrees. A 10 mph to 20 mph southwest wind will be needed. The southwest wind comes over the top of the ridge in the center of Michigan. The air then starts to sink and move to a lower elevation as it moves toward Alpena. Sinking air is compressed and warmed up. It’s similar to what happens during a Chinook wind.

The sky will also have to be clear and entirely sunny for 100 degrees to be reached. Often when we have temperatures in the 90s and high humidity, we talk about scattered afternoon thunderstorms. If it’s hot enough aloft, the storms don’t develop. This is what we call a “capped atmosphere.” The temperatures at the cap level look hot enough this coming Saturday to stop thunderstorm development.

The final step in getting to 100 degrees somewhere in Michigan is dry ground. We have that now in much of the northern half of Lower Michigan. The rain coming through Tuesday into Wednesday probably won’t be enough to have a lingering cooling effect on the soil.

This coming hot blast will last two to four days. There should be a break sometime next week. But the break in heat won’t last long, probably only two or three days. Then I look for 90s to come back for several days.

In other words, we have some very warm to occasionally hot temperatures over the next two weeks here in Michigan. Temperatures that will be significantly warmer than normal.

2018-06-25 14:35:00

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