Weather
12:24 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Gale warnings, wildfire alert, and an "Ozone Action Day"

Warm weather, and high winds are stirring up the warnings around Michigan today.

We're expected to have unhealthy air, potential for wildfires, and roiling water in Lake Michigan.

Air pollution

Ground level ozone is expected to be higher in parts of southeast Michigan and western Michigan today. These areas are under an "Ozone Action Day" alert. Here are tips from SEMCOG on what to do on days like today.

The EPA's AIRNow website lists the worst air quality in Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ludington. Ground level ozone is a concern in these areas for sensitive groups:

Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air. .

Gale warning on Lake Michigan

And strong winds are expected to stir up big waves on Lake Michigan later today through tomorrow morning. The National Weather Service has issued a "gale warning" for the Lake. From MLive:

Strong winds up to 40 mph and 7-foot waves are expected to lash Lake Michigan shores in Ottawa County, as well as at beaches north into Grand Haven and Muskegon County, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.

Winds between 10 and 25 mph are expected to build to 40 mph by the end of the day.

Michigan Radio's Rina Miller reports the warning is in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. She spoke with meteorologist Brandon Hoving who said all beachgoers should be careful:

"Obviously, near piers and other structures out there, with those strong waves coming up against the structures, it will be just a dangerous area to be jumping in and swimming," said Hoving.

As for the holiday weekend, Hoving says Sunday looks like it'll be a great day to be at the beach ... with calm waves and high temperatures.

Wildfire warning

And the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids says conditions are right for wildfires in much of central Michigan.

The danger for wildfires is elevated today due to strong southerly winds... very warm temperatures, and low relative humidity.