5+ Waterspouts on Lake Michigan, 1 in Traverse Bay, Hail, Confirmed Tornadoes and a Seiche

Bill's Blog
St. Joseph waterspout Ranelle Smith_229354

(courtesy Ranelle Smith)

From Ship Captain, Eric Treece: “…waterspouts crossing Maintou Passage heading toward Leland right now. Have seen 5.” Check out his pictures. You can see more of Eric’s pics. here. Pic. of another small waterspout. These waterspouts (and funnels) are “cold air waterspouts”. I can’t remember seeing them in June. They are more common in the fall and are caused by cold air coming down across the warmer water of the Great Lakes. Much of Lake Michigan has a water temp. in the low 60s. This unseasonably cool air mass had temperatures in the mid-upper 30s just a mile above the surface of the lake. That’s quite a contrast. Showers created updrafts that spun into the waterspouts. These waterspouts would typically have winds of 30-60 mph and would dissipate when they hit the land. Waterspout with rain to the left. Waterspout video here. A waterspout was also spotted in Traverse Bay.

Hail on the Old Mission Peninsula 6 22 21

This picture of marble-sized hail was from Pamela Montague-VanderMey on the Old Mission Peninsula. Here’s just some of the places that reported hail this (Tue.) afternoon: NE Grand Rapids, Bostwick Lake, Howard City, Interlochen, Grayling, Rudyard, Lovells, Lanston, Traverse City, Boyne City, Gladwin, Acme, Sands, Gladstone and Little Bear Lake. With the freezing level relatively close to the ground, it was easy for even showers to make some hail today.

Severe Storm Reports for Tue. June 22 2021

As of 9:55 pm – 71 severe weather reports so far – 16 wind and 71 hail. No tornadoes today (so far).

Riga Tornado

The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF1 rated tornado touched down near the Town of Riga in southeast Lenawee County. There were no injuries. This is the first confirmed tornado in Lenawee County since 2010. Also, a large swath of 50-60 mph winds across Lenawee, Wayne, Monroe and S. Oakland counties resulted in hundreds of toppled trees and a loss of power to approx. 60,000 homes in SE. Michigan.

Damage at N. Liberty, Indiana Sunday evening 6 20 21 from Becky Hildreth Wasio from the N. Indiana NWS webpage

There were at least two tornadoes in N. Indiana Sunday evening and reports of winds up to 50-65 mph that downed numerous trees and power lines.

Large hail at Eau Claire, Michigan Sunday 6 20 21 from Charles Lechlyman from the N. Indiana NWS webpage

Hail up to the size of eggs fell in Berrien County, Michigan. Golfball-sized hail hit Dewey Lake in Cass Co. MI and hail the size of ping-pong balls fell at Berrien Springs. There were numerous reports of smaller hail.

Steuben County Tornado in far NE Indiana 6 20 21

There were two EF1 tornadoes in N. Indiana, both with estimated winds of 100 mph. The first was in Steuben County, which is the northeasternmost county in Indiana. This tornado cross both I-69 and the Indiana Toll Road (I 80/90). This tornado was on the ground for 10 miles and fortunately, there were no injuries.

A tornado warning was issued for Branch Co. Here’s a follow up on that from the Northern Indiana NWS:

Batavia (Near Coldwater in Branch County, Michigan)
There was rotation in this storm at the time/location of these reports. Before NWS IWX received the 
funnel cloud reports, they had added a "tornado possible" tag to the severe thunderstorm warning. We
received two separate funnel clouds from two different spotters around 9:50 pm EDT, and decided to issue
a tornado warning based on the observed power flashes and debris flying. However, as of 7 am EDT June 22nd, 2021 
we have been unable to confirm with the EMA or spotters any tornado touched down, and reports of damage were lacking which 
suggests it was either just a funnel cloud or perhaps a shelf cloud/SCUD along leading edge of the storm.         

0953 PM     Funnel Cloud     1 NE Batavia            41.92N 85.09W
06/20/2021                   Branch             MI   Trained Spotter  

            Reported a possible tornado (couldn't see 
            well in the dark). He mentioned he saw power 
            flashes and debris flying. 

0950 PM     Funnel Cloud     Batavia                 41.91N 85.10W
06/20/2021                   Branch             MI   Trained Spotter  

            Reported he saw a tornado as he said that he 
            saw the funnel in between lightning 
            flashes-and then shortly after saw power 
            flashes. Couldn't see anything else in the 
            dark, but storm moving ENE.
Note that there were est. 50-60 mph and quite a few trees and limbs down with +1000 customers without power in the county.   

A seiche occurred on Lake Michigan. Water level fluctuations of 1 to 2 feet were observed on Lake Michigan behind the strong line of storms that went through between 1 am and 2 am EDT on June 21st, 2021. . A high swim risk and beach hazards statement was issued for dangerous wave and current activity from the evening of June 20th into the morning hours on June 22nd, 2021. A moderate swim risk was issued for the afternoon hours June 22nd, 2021. 

Rainfall Sunday/Sunday night totaled 2.4″ at Litchfield, 2.09″ at Watervliet, 1.97″ at Mendon and 1.95″ at Colon.

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