Examining the land-lake-atmosphere interactions of the May 5, 2003 severe weather event over southwest Michigan
The case examined in this study occurred in early May 2003, when a nearly stationary line of cumulus clouds formed several kilometers inland from Lake Michigan over southwest Michigan. These clouds eventually developed into a line of severe thunderstorms several kilometers inland from the lake, resulting in a rain shadow along the coast. The thermodynamic and dynamic structure of this system is explored through high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) simulations. These simulations examine the mechanisms for the formation of the severe weather, as well as the sensitivity of the system to environmental and lake properties. Identifying these mechanisms is key for weather forecasters in the region to be able to predict the potential of severe weather events. Understanding this fine-scale feature could also be important for evaluating future climate scenarios, as existing climate models may not accurately represent the land-lake-atmosphere interaction in the Great Lakes region.