Lake Michigan – Talk about a strange sight over Lake Michigan Monday, on one of the coldest days this winter. Debbie Maglothin took these pictures this afternoon over the lake near Ludington.
These are cold air funnels when very cold air is passing over the relatively warmer waters of Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan water temperatures were estimated at around 40 degrees (NOAA) today around Ludington. Surface temperatures over the lake were in the teens with temperatures at 5000 feet around (-15° to -18°). That sharp decrease in temperature lead to extreme instability and the formation of the cold air funnels.
I have seen cold air funnels in late October and certainly in November, but can’t remember seeing them in January.