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.
Cold air and flurries are in store for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday but should not significantly impact voter turnout.
Snow will pound New England on Monday as a coastal storm impacts the region.
Snow and slippery travel will arrive in the mid-Atlantic states prior to the middle of the week.
Warmer air will build from California to Washington into Tuesday raising temperatures to near-record levels and increasing the risk of wildfires in some areas.
A storm arriving from the Atlantic Ocean will unleash another round of rain and wind across Germany on Tuesday, threatening Carnival events in many locations.
As the first of several waves of arctic air sweeps southeastward across the Midwest, just enough snow will occur to cause slippery travel over a broad area on Monday.
Snowstorm, worst of season. 12-18 inches in the western mountains . . . a foot common statewide up to 24 inches in the mountains of Vermont, between Bristol and Waitsfield. 16 inches in other mountain areas, 12-14 inches in valleys, 14 inches at Albany, NY and 10 inches at Plattsburgh, NY.
Chicago, FL (1987)
Wind gusts of 65-70 mph from the north and northeast produced 15 foot waves on Lake Michigan. There were extensive shoreline erosion resulting in millions of dollars, and boulders 6 feet in diameter were pushed on shore.
60-80 mph winds from a powerful storm in the Pacific.