Another tornado has been confirmed by the G.R. NWS from the storms that rolled through Lower Michigan on Saturday June 26th. This one touched down in rural Ottawa County, just northeast of the town of Olive Center. It has been rated an EF-0 with winds of 75-85 mph. The twister was 25 yards wide and was on the ground for approximately 6 minutes. It lasted for 6 minutes and moved at about 24 mph.
The tornado snapped and uprooted trees, blew in a garage door, tossed around outdoor furniture and flipped a camper trailer. There were no injuries.
The G.R. NWS has determined that strong winds in Calhoun Co. were not caused by a tornado, but by straight-line thunderstorm winds (“surging rear-flank downdraft”). The damage path was 8.5 miles long and 650 yards wide (that’s 6 1/2 times the length of a football field). The path started 3 miles southeast of East Leroy and continue to 6 miles south-southwest of Marshall. The winds occurred from 5:40 pm to 5:55 pm (15 minutes).
The winds uprooted trees and snapped some off. The worst damage was along M Drive S and K Drive S near 10 Mile Road.
Now…compare the two events. The thunderstorm winds in Calhoun County were (slightly) stronger than the peak winds of the tornado in Ottawa County. The damage path in Calhoun County was much wider and longer than the tornado path. It affected more people.
Also, compare the damage and winds from Hurricane/Tropical Storm “Elsa” to the numerous severe thunderstorms that have occurred this past week. Just Saturday evening a haboob moved across a good portion of Arizona. Peak gusts in Arizona: Phoenix 60 mph, Mesa 67 mph, Sunflower 68 mph, East Tucson 76 mph, Horseshoe Dam 83 mph and Huachuca City 91 mph. Visibility was reduced to near zero in blowing dirt. As I write this 40,394 customers have lost power in Arizona.
Just in the past 5 days, The U.S. has had 32 tornadoes, 249 hail reports (up to 4.3″ in diameter!) and 1,239 reports of wind damage, including 28 places where gusts have been measured at or greater than 75 mph. Severe thunderstorms can pack quite a wallop, with damage similar to low-end tornadoes and affecting a greater number of people.
Also: Las Vegas NV tied their all-time record high temperature of 117°. That temperature was first reache in 1942 and has been tied 3 other times.