Tornadoes, Hundreds of Reports of Wind Damage and Softball-Sized Hail

Bill's Blog

So far, there have been 594 reports of severe weather in the Central U.S., including 25 tornadoes, 549 reports of wind damage (including 61 reports of winds at or over 75 mph – that I believe is a new record for a non-hurricane storm). Hail up to softball-size fell in Kansas.

One of the strangest severe weather reports I’ve ever seen: 12/16/2021 M67 MPH LSZ263 MI C-MAN STATION, PEAK GUST FROM THE ESE WITH THE LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS. C-MAN STATION ROAM4, 2 W ROCK OF AGES. That’s a 67 mph severe thunderstorm wind about 2 miles offshore of Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior in the middle of December!

This wind probably caused a “standing seiche” on Lake Michigan and with a very strong SSW wind. There was probably a pretty good current going west to east under the Mackinac Bridge with the wind pushing water out of Lake Michigan and into Lake Huron.

Percent Chance of a Tornado Within 10 Miles of a Given Point

This was the % chance of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point. The hatched area is a greater than 10% chance of a strong tornado (EF2 and higher).

Percent Chance of a Severe Wind Report Within 25 Miles of a Given Point.

This was the percent chance of a severe wind report with in 25 miles of a given point. The hatched area is a greater than 10% chance of a wind gust over 74 mph (hurricane force. This is an extremely high probability for any summer day and I think unprecedented this time of year this far north. SPC says: “

Widespread severe wind gusts of 60-75 mph along with at least a few
   tornadoes are likely through tonight across
   the Mid-Missouri Valley to the Upper Mississippi Valley. Embedded
   gusts of 75-100 mph and a strong tornado or two are also possible,
   particularly from extreme eastern Nebraska across western to
   northern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota.

The Storm Prediction Center and the local National Weather Service Offices die a very good job getting out the outlooks, watches and warnings with this storm system.  As far as I know, there were no fatalities from the Wednesday/Thursday storms and winds.  

The Iowa State Patrol reported numerous semis were blown off I-80 early Wednesday evening.  

Here's a link to current severe thunderstorm and tornado watches, Meso-discussions and storm reports.  

BTW - we've had tornadoes in mid-winter before in the Great Lakes.  In January 2008 with had EF2 and an EF3 tornadoes in SE Wisconsin, just on the other side of Lake Michigan.  Watch this video of the tornado tipping a train.  

So far, the high temperature in Grand Rapids has been 61 - Holland and Benton Harbor reached 64.  Since 1896, only 12 December’s have produced a 60 degree or greater high temperature from this date to the end of the month.
And...only 6 December’s have produced a 61 degree or greater high temperature from this date to the end of the month.

ALSO:  Night video of tornado in far SE Missouri.  

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