Boaters and photographers should be on the alert for Great Lakes waterspouts Sunday.
The potential for seeing a waterspout exists across all of the Great Lakes from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario on Sunday.
Much cooler air will move in behind a departing cold front over the warm waters of the Great Lakes. At the same time, a puddle of chilly air will form high above the surface in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "These conditions often lead to heavy snow squalls during the winter. When they occur during the late summer and fall, occasionally, waterspouts can form."
The flow of cool air into the zone of warm, moist, rising air over the lake can cause small areas of rotation. As these swirls rise and tighten, a waterspout can form.
Lake water temperatures are in the lower 60s to near 70 degrees and the air passing over the Great Lakes, dipping to the upper 20s and lower 30s during the morning, will be cool enough to allow moisture to gather just above the surface.
According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "Waterspouts are essentially weak, short-lived tornadoes over water. However, they do not need an intense thunderstorm to form. In fact, most form in an entirely different manner, compared to tornadoes."
While mostly a threat to small craft, occasionally they can wander onshore before dissipating, causing minor property damage. They often have the strength equivalent of an EF0 tornado.
The visible funnel is mostly caused by the condensation of the moisture due to the low pressure within the storm and not so much by surface water being drawn upward.
Regardless of whether or not waterspouts form, widespread showers and a few thunderstorms will affect the Great Lakes and areas downwind.
Cities such as Erie, Pa., Buffalo, N.Y., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Marquette, Mich., will be in store for a chilly, unsettled end to the weekend.
A swath of snow and wintry mix with slippery travel will reach from the Central states to New England prior to the weekend.
Lingering frigid air will not only lay the path for more icing this weekend but will also delay recovery in communities dealing with widespread power outages and thus no heat.
Bitter cold will linger in the parts of the southern Plains impacted by the late-week ice storm, which could have been the worst to hit the United States in years.
A historical nuisance in the Christmas tree industry, brought on by recent wet weather, may threaten the tree crop this winter season.
A new storm threatens to bring travel disruptions and power outages Sunday into Monday in the Northeast, including the I-95 corridor.
A storm coming Sunday night has the potential to bring more snow and travel problems to Boston and New England
Riverview, FL (1996)
A tornado killed one person; 6 mobile homes were destroyed.
Cairo, IL (1917)
17.0" snow set 24 hour snowfall record and single storm total for city.
Louisville, KY (1885)
15.0" snow set 24 hour snowfall record and single storm total for city (7th-8th).