The National Weather Service has confirmed 12 tornado touchdowns on Wednesday December 15 in NE Iowa, SE Minnesota and W. Wisconsin. There were three that were rated EF2 (111-135 mph), four that were rated EF1 (86-110 mph) and five that were rated EF0 (65-85 mph). The outbreak shattered records for the number of warnings so late in the season. In addition, several all-time December temperature records were set. These were the first tornadoes ever recorded in the state of Minnesota during the month of December.
From the NWS: “The storm posed 2 threats. A line of severe thunderstorms brought pockets of wind damage (60-90 mph) along with the tornadoes. Some of the stronger tornadoes occurred in north central Wisconsin (Clark Co., WI) where a few homes were destroyed or heavily damaged. The storms were moving very rapidly.
After the storms passed, strong winds buffeted the region with fairly widespread 60-80 mph wind gusts. This led to even more damage, especially to trees and farm buildings.
All in all, numerous communities suffered structure damage, power outages, and sporadic tree/branch damage. Damage surveys are still on-going.”
On the map above, areas in yellow came under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning and areas in red came under a tornado warning. There were 71 tornado warnings issued and 118 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. Only two counties in the state of Iowa did not come under a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning.
Back here in Michigan, we still have 65,255 customers without power as of 3:30 am Sat. 12/18. That’s more than any other state. In fact, it’s more than six times the number of customers without power of 2nd place Wisconsin (10,049). As neighboring states get everyone back on line, they are able to send crews up to Michigan. Seventy additional crews will be working this weekend to restore power in Michigan. There were several trucks and linemen working on the wires down at the end of our street Friday afternoon.
Most of the remaining power outages were across N. Lower Michigan. As of 3:30 am, Consumer’s reported we still had 57% of Alcona Co. without power, 42% of Missaukee Co., 27% of Antrim Co. and 25% of Leelanau County without power. It’s not just lines that need to be restored. There are places where utility poles were toppled and had to be replaced.
Did you catch the brilliant sunset Friday evening. I took this picture in Alpine Township. The sun was nearly to the horizon – low enough to shine under the cloud deck and illuminate the base (or bottom) of the cloud deck. I love watching the sky…a canvas that is constantly being painted for us to enjoy…and it’s free to see.
Some thunderstorms with heavy rainfall this Saturday AM in Central Texas. A few storms could contain gusty winds.
This is the Severe Weather Outlook Map from the Storm Prediction Center for this Saturday PM/night. There’s a Slight Risk for SE Texas and SW Louisiana. This includes Houston, Galveston, Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana. The main threat will be strong gusty winds, but an isolated tornado is certainly possible.