Funnel Clouds over Lake Michigan and Tropical Update

Over the past few days, frost advisories have been issued for parts of the Northern Plains as a trough of low pressure moved east. This trough has also produced numerous waterspouts as well as a funnel cloud report over southern Lake Michigan.  Waterspouts are often caused by cooler air moving over the warmer air at the surface. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Casey Sullivan, fall is the climatological peak for waterspouts.


funnel cloud reports funnel clouds

Meanwhile, the tropics are in a bit of a lull especially in the Pacific, where no strong tropical cyclones exist currently and only one area is being monitored for possible development over the next five days. This particular area in the Eastern Pacific is 650 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California. Some slow development is possible over the next few days as it moves toward the northwest.

Map showing four areas being monitored for tropical development.
Map showing four areas being monitored for tropical development.

The Atlantic is more active and has four areas that are being monitored for possible development. An area of showers and thunderstorms has developed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and is associated with a weak low pressure system. Conditions are only marginally favorable for further development of this system.  The area with the highest possibility of tropical development in the Atlantic is located several hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Conditions are favorable for further development, and it could become a tropical depression over the next day or two. The system should not be a treat to land, staying over the open waters of the Central Atlantic. Another area located about 975 miles southwest of the Azores Sunday afternoon remains weak, and conditions are not favorable for further development. The final area being monitored in the Atlantic just emerged off the west coast of Africa and is a few hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands. Conditions are conducive for gradual development of this storm and it will continue to be monitored as it moves across the Eastern Atlantic over the next several days.

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