At last count, 65 tornadoes were reported in the central U.S. Friday PM/evening. There were 398 reports of wind damage – including 6 reports of measured winds of 75 mph or greater and there were 322 reports of severe hail, with 26 of those reports being bigger than golf balls. (top pic. is damage seen from a drone over North Little Rock, Arkansas from KARK).

The Storm Prediction Center issued a HIGH RISK OUTLOOK (Level 5!). This was the first HIGH RISK AREA issued by SPC in two years! Over the last 10 years, we’ve had 9 days with a HIGH RISK.

This graphic shows the severe storm reports superimposed on the severe weather outlook for Friday from the Storm Prediction Center. You can see they did a pretty good job.

“Catastrophic” damage in the Little Rock, Arkansas area. State of Emergency. National Guard called out. Looks like 5 fatalities.. One hospital had 38 patients admitted Sat. AM with 4 critical. There were at least 4 other hospitals in the immediate area that took in patients. When you count those who self-treated, it’s likely the number of injured might have been as high as several hundred. The latest from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “Every business on this side of the parking lot appears totally destroyed.” The National Weather Service in North Little Rock — declared an emergency, shut down its operations and moved to a storm shelter. Office operations were shifted to the Memphis National Weather Service Office.

Semi truck picked up into the air and set down on top of a pickup truck in Little Rock, Arkansas

In southern Lower Michigan, the peak wind gust was 60 mph at Union City in Branch County. Wind damage was reported at Fair Plain in Berrien County. There were numerous reports of 50-70 mph wind gusts just south of the border in northern Indiana. Two homes were destroyed and others damaged at Badger Grove IN.

Hail reports in Michigan: Golfball-size at Sturgis, Ping-Pong ball-size at Hillsdale, One-inch in diameter at Springfield, St. Joseph, Alamo, Cooper and Pennfield, Nickel-size hail fell at Gobles in Van Buren Co. and half-inch hail was reported at Charlotte. There were many reports of pea-sized hail, mainly south of I-94.

Rainfall as of midnight: South of Caledonia 3.34″, Holland 2.46″, Jamestown 2.37″, Pullman 2.36″, Beechwood 2.29″, Cutlerville 2.28″, Hudsonville 2.12″, Cedar Springs 2.07″, Wayland 2.07″, Grand Rapids 2.02″ (daily record), Lansing 1.73″ (daily record), Kalamazoo 1.63″, Battle Creek 1.52″, Comstock Park 1.51″, Jackson 1.43″, Muskegon 1.21″.

Here’s lightning data, current Michigan weather observations, the latest Grand Rapids NWS forecast discussion and a surface weather map.

Midwest Radar

South Radar

today Reports Graphic
Storm Reports for Saturday, inc. some wind damage south of Detroit
Winter Storm Warning (in pink) and Winter Weather Advisory (in purple)

While this storm system spawns tornadoes in the Mississippi Valley – it’ll produce heavy snow across much of the Upper Peninsula. In the pink counties on the map above, there was a Winter Storm Warning for 6-12″ of new snow and the possibility of a period of freezing rain. Marquette had 44″ of snow on the ground Saturday AM and Iron Mt. reported 15″ of new snow.

It has been windy this Saturday. Many areas have had wind gusts of 40-45 mph.


Sunday will be dry and not quite as cold as Saturday.

Another major storm system will move into the northern Plains on Tuesday – Wednesday. The warm air will make another run at southwest Michigan. The European model gives Kalamazoo a high of 66 on Wed. and S. Bend IN 71. Wednesday could be the warmest day of the year so far. That system will bring us another round of showers and storms and some of those storms could be heavy or even severe.


Thunderstorms building over SW Michigan during the mid-afternoon Sunday 3 26 23

This picture from the Lighthouse at Michigan City Indiana at 3:33 pm Sunday shows thunderstorms building over far SW Lower Michigan. A thunderstorm was reported at Benton Harbor between 4:30 and 5 pm. A few of these storms produced small hail as they moved east along and south of I-94.

Before the rain at Michigan City, Indiana

Before the rain moved in, some boats were out in Lake Michigan at Michigan City. You can see 3 boats in this picture. The lake was fairly calm (though the wind and waves picked up late in the day.

South Haven Channel mid-afternoon on Sunday March 26 2023

Here’s a pic. of the S. Haven Channel from Sunday PM. There were a couple dozen people on the piers (breakwalls) and you can see a couple of boats in the water. The lake was fairly calm, some people were fishing. The temperature at the S. H. Lighthouse at mid-afternoon was just 40°.

Ugly sky over Chicago – Late afternoon Sunday March 26, 2023

This is how Chicago looked at 5:30 pm Sunday, seen from the water intake, which is 2.75 miles out in Lake Michigan. No severe weather here, just some ugly looking low clouds over the city. The temperature didn’t get warmer than the upper 30s at the water intake during the daytime Sunday.