Michigan Frequent Weather Alerts: Lake-effect snows (blizzards), extreme cold, flooding, severe thunderstorms, high winds and tornadoes.
Michigan is known for having a fairly temperate climate in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula (or U.P.) is more likely to deal with severe weather than the Lower Peninsula, but both Peninsulas get their share from time to time.
Winter weather affects both Peninsulas, with the U.P. getting a lot of storms from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The most recent instance of a severe storm bringing extreme cold was the Polar Vortex in January of 2019, where the U.P. had temperatures in the negative 60’s, and the Lower Peninsula hit 45 degrees below zero.
Lake effect snows, which bring large blizzards and lots of wind, are common throughout late fall and into early spring. The Lower Peninsula got a huge storm in late 2014, with over 30 inches of snow in one day.
Rain and Flooding
As you may expect, rain is also quite plentiful due to the entire state being surrounded by the Great Lakes. Michigan actually has longest freshwater coastline in the country. Flood warnings are common in the spring and summer due to intense rainstorms – for example, in 2018, Houghton County, Michigan got almost 7 inches of rain in 7 hours.
Michigan averages around 15-16 tornadoes a year, with most occurring in the southern part of the state.
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