Have you ever heard the term "November Witch" storm before? It's a colloquial term used to describe a particular weather phenomenon that occurs in the Great Lakes region of North America in November and they can have a dramatic impact on weather across the Midwest, including here in Indiana.

Witch of November

These storms are also known as "Witch of November" storms. They are a significant and well-known aspect of the Great Lake's regional climate because of their potential for extreme and dangerous weather conditions.

It refers to the "Witches of November" which is a phrase sometimes used to describe intense Midwest windstorms that have had a notorious history in early November as well as late October.

Winds from these storms often cause tree damage and power outages. The storms are also a major hazard for shipping on the Great Lakes. - The Weather Channel

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Powerful and Dangerous

These storms can bring about a combination of strong winds, heavy snowfall, and freezing temperatures. They occur primarily in November when the temperature contrast between the still-warm waters of the Great Lakes and the cold, dry Arctic air mass overhead is at its greatest, but can sometimes occur in late October as well. The storms are so severe that they have even been known to disrupt shipping. In 1975, they caused a massive iron ore ship to sink in Lake Superior with its 29-member crew.

November Witch Characteristics

A November Witch is characterized by strong winds that can reach hurricane force and thanks to the cold air passing over the lakes, the moisture in the air freezes resulting in heavy and often dense snowfall. These winter storms often result in dangerous conditions that can include blizzards, freezing rain, icy roads, downed powerlines, and power outages.

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 Great Lakes and Beyond

The Great Lakes region, particularly areas near Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron, is most prone to experiencing November Witch storms. Mariners and meteorologists closely monitor weather patterns during this time of year to provide early warnings and ensure the safety of those living in the area and those traveling across the lakes. But, what about those of us south of the Great Lakes region?

With the strength of these storms, there is no doubt that they have the ability to impact weather across the Midwest, including here in Indiana. Fortunately, we have the technology available now to be able to better predict and track these types of storms so we can be prepared and stay safe.

[Source: Weather.com; FarmersAlmanac.com]

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