DISCUSSION: As a cold front moved through the eastern Great Lakes region during the Thursday/Friday timeframe, the stage was perfectly set for prolonged gusty conditions across areas downwind (i.e., to the east) of Lake Erie. As seen in the graphic above (courtesy of Meteorologist Geoff Cornish), you clearly can see how in cities anywhere from Erie, PA to Dunkirk, NY there were wind gusts as high as 35 to 50 MPH. Though these areas are very accustomed to experiencing post-frontal weather conditions comprised of prolonged gusty conditions (i.e., with or without precipitation), it is still always impressive to see long-duration windy conditions impact areas to the east of the Great Lakes.
This often occurs due to the fact that as a cold front moves through areas in the vicinity of the Great Lakes (whether it is across the western or eastern Great Lakes), there is a strong tendency for there to be a nearby high pressure system. Due to the close proximity of the associated high pressure system in the wake of the passing low pressure system, this creates a stronger pressure gradient which often facilitates long-duration gusty conditions which can induce strong wave action along the eastern coastlines of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior. Hence, based on the conditions in place, this was a relatively straight-forward weather forecast to anticipate from the standpoint of operational forecasting!
To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
~Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz