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.
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In an effort to cut down the time it takes to scan storms in order to alert the public of tornadoes and severe storms, the National Weather Service made small but potentially life-saving adjustments to their radar operations.
Tropical Depression Two has formed in the Atlantic and could become the next tropical storm of the season by midweek.
More thunderstorms are in order for the Atlanta area as temperatures remain in the upper 80s.
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Midwest and Northeast at midweek will contribute to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
Atlantic Ocean (1498)
Christopher Columbus' third voyage. After leaving the Cape Verde Islands, the 4 ships drifted WSW in the equatorial current. "The wind stopped so suddenly and unexpectedly and the supervening heat was so excessive and immoderate that there was no one who dared go below after the casks of wine and water which burst, snapping the hoops of the pipes; the wheat burned like fire; the bacon and salted meat roasted and petrified."
Wasatch National Park, UT (1918)
504 sheep were killed by one lightning bolt.
Waterbury, CT (1926)
105 degrees -- record high for state.