Thunderstorms on the Last Day of Vacation

Bill's Blog

Thunderstorm moving into Bois Blanc Island.

We woke up Saturday, our last day of vacation, with a thunderstorm moving in from the west. I took this picture at the water’s edge…nice shelf cloud with the storm. We noticed that several boats didn’t make it back to shore before the storm moved in. This storm produced a wind gust I’d estimate to be around 40 mph. We had brief moderate to heavy rain with the storm, which diminished to light rain – but the rainfall total was not as great as the thunderstorm we experienced on ferry as we arrived on the island.

Here’s radar of the morning thunderstorm. There was a bow shape to the line of storms that stretched from northwest of Sault Ste. Marie to Traverse City. This was the first of two thunderstorms we experienced on Saturday. This line of storms produced wind damage at Petoskey, Black Lake in Presque Isle Co. and between one and two inches of rain at Traverse City, Interlochen, Lake and Central Lake.

Approaching Cheboygan on the Ferry

We stayed in our car during the cross from the island to the mainland. This was the view coming into Cheboygan. It was still raining lightly and you could still hear a grumble of thunder to the east and southeast. Despite a healthy breeze, the trip back was smooth and quick. We got gas on the south side of Cheboygan and pulled right next to the two ladies who were our neighbors at the B & B on the island. We decided that since we had most of the day, that we’d meander south down the back roads. There were several vehicles in the parking lot and a couple of people recognized me – some from Muskegon. We had a nice chat. Again, they mentioned the “man-cave”, the cats and the changing backgrounds on the live weather segments from my basement.

Gravel Road in Northern Otsego Co.

We traveled down narrow, damp roads through southern Cheboygan and N Otsego Co. We didn’t see any elk, but did watch two deer (mother and small fawn) cross in front of us.

Pretty flowers on the side of the road

Here’s some pretty purple flowers by the side of the road. I didn’t stay out of the car long – almost instantaneously, I had the companionship of flies – and most of them looked like deer flies. The rain stopped, but the moisture did hold down the otherwise dusty roads.

The second storm to the north

It got to be just after 4 pm and both our phones buzzed an emergency message. Our first thought was that it was the governor’s office reminding me to wear a face mask (which we were very good about doing. We took along the good surgical masks and about 8 cloth masks). Not this time….it was a tornado warning! I had not been watching the weather at all and we were deep in the woods where we couldn’t see the sky. I got out a map and got to a point where we could see the sky. The storm was to the north (see pic.). I thought we could approach the storm safely from the south, so we headed north to see the storm. As we continued, the sky got darker and you could see lightning from NE to NW.

We stopped in the town of Wolverine, where a number of young people were exiting the river after tubing. It was a cool storm…I’d say gusts to 40 mph, maybe 45…heavy rain and lightning. Here’s a list of damage reports, wind gusts and rainfall/flooding from this second line of storms in N. Lower MI.

Okay, now it was around 5:30 pm and we we back in Cheboygan County, not all that far from where we landed with the ferry over four hours ago. Time to get home…so down I-75. As we traveled south, the car thermometer rose from 73 during the storm to 90 and the wind picked up from the south-southwest. We crossed over to US 131 on M-55 – stopping for a sandwich and a salad in Lake City.

Sunset July 18 2002 -Saturday

Got home in time to see a nice sunset. The cats were there at the door to greet us. We have a cat-sitter come and take care of them while we are gone. The cats are rather famous. The video of them “fighting” in the background passed 373,000 views on YouTube this weekend.

I had time to unload the car, fill the bird feeders and water the tomato plants and flowers out front, said “hi” to our neighbors to the north and to go through the week’s mail. Back to work later today (Sunday). Had a great time up north this past week.

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