Our first crack at 80 degrees comes next week

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WEST MICHIGAN — I know there are many of us that feel as if Spring has started late. It officially arrived on March 20, known as the Spring equinox. That said, Mother Nature threw us not-so-spring-like weather the last few weeks. We actually hit our first 70 degree plus temperature on Monday this week…74 officially in Grand Rapids, but not a record. Ready for our first 80?

Our forecast models are showing indications that a strong Spring storm (low pressure system) will form over the Plains and drive a much warmer air mass substantially further north next week. As the wind field strengthens, a strong southwesterly flow will develop on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of this system. It may very well drive temperatures to 80 degrees!

As an example, take a look at one of the forecast models. The image below is from our GFS American model and is valid for Sunday morning. The colors on the map represent the air masses. The cooler the colors, the cooler the temperature at the surface. The warmer colors are warmer temperatures. Note the colors on Sunday morning over Michigan are in blue. Cooler tones!

Now compare the same forecast model, only this time valid for next Wednesday morning. Look at the difference in air mass types over the Great Lakes! In yellow…yielding temperatures at least in the 70s and perhaps making 80.

For you weather geeks, our other long range dependable forecast model (the European) is also showing this warm up. We’ll need to watch the possibility of severe weather along with the warmer temperatures and strong wind field as both may/will support strong/severe storms.

Normal highs for this time of year have us in the low 60s, so that indeed will be sharply warmer than average if it occurs. If we don’t reach 80, chances are still better than average that highs in the mid/upper 70s will occur. So enjoy! This is what everyone has been waiting for.

Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather and make sure to stay tuned to later forecasts!

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