We’ll be dealing with some gusty winds Tuesday and Wednesday as a strong low pressure system passes up through Ontario. There is a pretty tight pressure gradient around it, at least for this time of the year. This will help “squeeze the air” through the region.
In addition to the pressure gradient, convective mixing of the boundary layer this time of the year increases wind speed during the daylight hours. The warm sun heats the air near the ground and then it rises. As it rises and eventually falls in air currents, the wind momentum from aloft is easily transferred down to the ground. The net result will be sustained southwest to west winds on the order of 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. So while the temperatures will make it pleasant to be outdoors, the wind will make golfing, biking, and fishing a bit more difficult. Plus if you are trying to mow lawn, you might get a face full of grass clipping once in awhile if you are using a big rider especially.
Speaking of wind I want to mention the big impact this spring’s extra severe storms and tornadoes have had on the public. One of my clients from Great Lakes Weather Service who lives in Detroit, called me up out of the blue Sunday evening. He told me his area was under a tornado warning and unfortunately his condo has no basement. So he wanted advice as to whether he should sit in his car in his garage or crawl in the pantry under the stairwell. I told him the pantry stairwell would probably be safer since there is less glass around it, and it has a few extra walls between the tornado and himself. My main point with this is that I really doubt he would have called for such advice had we not had all the devastating tornadoes this spring. It was fresh on his mind. Otherwise he probably would have just thought, “well nothing ever happens when there is a warning anyway…I don’t really need shelter.”
So big events do shape our mindset, at least for awhile. I imagine if we have a quieter month or year at some point, the public might become lax again in their storm preparation.
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on May 30, 2011