Severe Storm Hits Kalamazoo County

Bill's Blog

This pic. is from Nick Krietz. It was taken near Schoolcraft shortly after 4 pm today (Tue. 8/14). You’re often less sure when you look at a still picture instead of a movie, but this looks like at least a rotating wall cloud. You cannot see a connection to the ground. A trained spotter stayed with this feature as it moved ESE into Vicksburg and eventually into Branch Co.

radar and severe t-storm warning

This was a radar view of the storm and the Severe Thunderstorm Warning that was issued for S. Kalamazoo County. The question you may be asking is “Why not a Tornado Warning?” First, there was a trained spotter following the storm, watching the rotating wall cloud and the (very brief) funnel cloud. Second, the NWS had a meteorologist continually watching the storm on radar. This storm wasn’t the type that would spawn a large or violent (EF3-EF5) tornado. They were concerned about a brief spin-up. Also, check the wording of the Severe T-Storm Warning Statement:

Severe T-Storm Warning for Kalamazoo County

They mention “A funnel has also been reported with this storm. While not immediately likely, a weak tornado is also possible.” Down on the bottom the statement says; “TORNADO…POSSIBLE.” In this case, the G.R. NWS felt that the threat did not warrant a tornado warning and all that accompanies that action (activities cancelled, etc.). With all warning, advisories and watches, the NWS tried to provide a proper balance between situations with a significant impact and those that are unlikely to have a serious impact.

Hail in Vicksburg MI 8 14 19 from Kathy Austin

Hail up to half-dollar size fell in the Vicksburg Area. The hail covered the ground. Hail also fell in Kalamazoo and Portage. Video – running from the hail in Vicksburg.

Hail in Vicksburg from Kathy Austin
Accumulated hail in Vicksburg MI 8 14 19 from Jennifer Kay Overweg

Here’s a second pic. of the hail from Kathy Austin. The storm downed a few trees and power lines in the Vicksburg area. Hail video here.

Power Outages

There were a few power outages. The biggest one was just over 1,000 customers just west of Vicksburg. There was another outage on the northwest side of Barton Lake. As of 8:20 pm, Indiana Michigan Power reported 1,334 customers without power and 1,219 of those were in Kalamazoo County. Consumers Energy reports 798 without power, including 452 in Kalamazoo Co. and 277 in Kent Co. VW highway just west of Vicksburg was closed for a while.

Rainfall Tuesday PM 8 14 19

Heavy rain fell with this storm, with Portage getting over 2″. Vicksburg and South Oshtemo had over an inch. Much less rain fell at the Kalamazoo Airport and to the north in Grand Rapids.

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