Friday Severe Weather Wrap-Up

Bill's Blog

Thunderstorm (cumulonimbus) over Central Iowa 8 23 20

I took a break to do a little storm chasing Friday evening. Quite an impressive lightning show. It was fun to watch from the car and from other safe places where Gayle and I stopped. By midnight, there was a fairly solid line of storms from the Detroit to South Bend. We can often look at the Consumers Energy Outage Map to see where the strong winds occurred:

Power Outages at 5 am

This was the Power Outage Map at 5 am Saturday – you can see the area of outages from near Ravenna east through Kent City, Cedar Spring and Oakfield Township in Kent Co…through Greenville and Belding to near Ionia. Thee storm that went through Allegan Co. produced outages in central Allegan Co. and there were other outages scattered about.

Power Outages at 5 am Saturday

At 5 am there were 23,338 Consumers Energy customers without power. That included 12,397 in Kent Co., 1,899 in Allegan Co., 1,477 in Newaygo Co., 877 in Newaygo Co. and 661 in Ottawa Co. Below is the Severe T-Storm Watch (outlined in blue on the map) that was issued by the Storm Prediction Center.

Damage in Cedar Springs, where quite a few trees were downed

Below is the watch that was issued with radar showing the strong storms in N. Kent Co. and in Allegan Co.

WW0468 Radar

Hazard Tornadoes
Likelihood Very Low
Severe WindLowSevere  Hail Low

Severe Weather: Trees and power lines were down from Kent City, through Cedar Springs and into Ionia County around Belding and Orleans., a gust to 53 mph at White Cloud, 60 mph winds with a few trees down in Jackson and 49 mph winds at the pier at Saugatuck. Battle Creek had a gust to 44 mph. Tree branches also down in the town of Willis. Golf ball-sized hail was reported at Ashley in Gratiot County.

Here’s U.S. storm reports for Friday. There were no tornadoes in the U.S. 2″ diameter hail fell at Flushing MI – along with wind damage. That was the biggest hail that fell anywhere in the U.S. on Friday. Winds hit 50 mph just south of Ann Arbor. 1″ diameter hail fell just northwest of Flint. 3.9″ of rain fell at Yipsilanti with 3.7″ at Whitmore Lake and 3.5″ at Southgame. A storm produced 3/4″ diameter hail near Milwaukee.

Southern Lower Michigan was in the Slight Risk Area for severe thunderstorms Friday and Friday night. Here’s Grand Rapids radar:

Click for latest Base Reflectivity radar image from the Grand Rapids/Muskegon, MI radar and current weather warnings

Below was the Severe Weather Risk Map for Friday/Friday night

Severe Weather Outlook Map for Friday 8/28

There was also a Slight Risk Area from NE Mississippi to Kentucky for storms connected to the moisture from Tropical Depression Laura. There were still over 500,000 customers without power as of Friday evening, mostly in Louisiana and E Texas in the wake of Laura and…18 days after the August 10 derecho, there were 12 customers without power in Linn Co. Iowa (Cedar Rapids).

This is the Friday PM/night Tornado Risk Map

Above was the Tornado Risk Map from the Storm Prediction Center for this Friday PM/night. There was a 5% chance of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point from Newaygo Co. to Traverse City and east to Saginaw Bay…a 2% chance for the rest of Lower Michigan. Fortunately, we did not see any tornadoes.

The map above showed the risk of a wind damage report within 25 miles of a given point this PM/night. Most all of Lower Michigan was in the +15% category. So wind damage was a greater threat than tornadoes.

Severe Weather Outlook Map for Saturday, August 29 2020

Above is the risk area for today – Saturday.. Storms are not expected over the coming weekend in Michigan, but severe weather is likely in the East, again including the major East Coast cities. W. Michigan will be breezy and cooler on Saturday. We’ll have a Beach Hazards Statement and Small Craft Advisories this Saturday.

Links: The latest SPC convective (thunderstorm) outlooks, current severe thunderstorm and tornado watches, current mesoscale discussions. Great Lakes radar:

Central Great Lakes sector loop
Go to: Most Recent Image

Grand Rapids radar:

Here’s current Michigan weather observations and a Michigan weather map.

On Thursday, we reached 90° in Grand Rapids for the 17th and possibly last time this summer. The highs of 95° at Kalamazoo and 94° at Battle Creek tied for hottest day of the summer. It was cooler near Lake Michigan with a high of 79.5° at the Muskegon Beach.

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