Severe Thunderstorms pushed through portions of Lower Michigan on Thursday, bringing hail, strong wind and heavy rain.

“Many trees down” in Frankfort in Benzie Co. (pic. from Frankfort Fire and Rescue)

Severe Reports in W. Michigan: Wind damage in Frankfort, the Lansing area, throughout Clinton County, Pierson, Six Lakes, Harrison, Bath, Ovid, Holt, Evart, Morley, Ashley, Rives Jct. and Grant. Hail fell in Vicksburg (with window damage), DeWitt, Haslett, Clinton Co. and N. Ingham Co. Small hail at SE Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Sheridan, Rockford, Lowell, Schoolcraft, St. Johns, Wiley in Mason Co. and NW of Lake Odessa. Here’s a list of damage and hail reports.

Gr. Rapids NWS summary of the severe weather of 7 20 23

In SE Michigan, Hail up to tennis ball size fell at Davison (east of Flint) with egg-sized hail at Ypsilanti. Golfball-sized hail hit St. Clair Shores and Mt. Clemens. Ping-pong ball-sized hail was reported at Lapeer and Oak. 1″ hail hit Utica and west of Ann Arbor. Wind gusts hit 62 mph at the airport in Detroit, and 57 mph at Gross Pointe. There was wind damage at Brighton, Port Huron, Wedhams and Ruby. Summary of severe weather reports in SE Michigan.

In Northern Indiana: Golfball and bigger hail just east of South Bend IN. Possible tornado/funnel cloud (is it rotating?). Hail to 2″ in diameter fell at Mishawaka. Golfball-sized hail in Elkhart with 1″ hail at Millerstown and Jimtown. Ping-pong ball-sized hail hit Indian Village, with 1.25″ diameter hail at N. Webster. There was wind damage and large hail (1.5″ in diameter) at Goshen and ping-pong ball sized hail was reported at Albion IN. Two people were injured when a tree fell on a house.

Hail at St. Johns MI (north of Lansing) – pic. from trained NWS spotter
Storm Reports from Thursday July 20

Here’s a map showing severe storm reports from Thursday. Let’s start with the good news – at this point – no confirmed tornadoes…but wow! 525 reports of wind damage with 2 reports of +75 mph winds. That looks like it’s the 2nd highest daily number of severe reports in 2023 so far. There were 118 reports of severe hail with 15 of them being bigger than golfball-size. You can see where the severe storms were from Lower Michigan and northern Indiana east to NY and PA…and also that batch of severe storms that started in southeast Missouri and moved southeast to the Atlantic Ocean.

Michigan has had 7 tornadoes so far in 2023 – the annual average for Michigan is 16.

Beach Hazards Statement

There was also a Beach Hazards Statement for this Friday. This covered all the Lake Michigan beaches from Ludington and Mason County south to La Porte County in northern Indiana. When it’s windy….Do not swim near or jump off piers and breakwaters. Dangerous currents can develop along the piers and breakwalls on windy days.

Rainfall forecast for the next 7 days from the Weather Prediction Center

Here’s the total rainfall forecast for the next 7 days from the Weather Prediction Center. Heavier rains can be expected in the East, the South (from LA to FL), the Ohio Valley and in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. Heavy rain should also fall in parts of the mountains of Mexico. Afternoon thunderstorms will occur over the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico. The West Coast and much of TX/OK will remain hot and dry.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook for July 26-August 1 from the Climate Prediction Center

Once again the latest 8-14 Day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows ever acre of the contiguous U.S. forecast to be warmer than average…same for most of Alaska (where I will be during this time). I think we’ll be closer to near average here in the Great Lakes. The average high/low for most of July is 83°/63°. Temperature-wise, July 20 is the midpoint of summer. The warmest 3 months of the year in West Michigan on average is June 5 September – 5. We’ve lost nearly half an hour of daylight since the Summer Solstice back on June 21. The pace of shortening daylight will accelerate as we move into August.

Twelve of the last 13 days, from 7/7 – 7/19, have been cooler than average, The warmest high temperature in G.R. during that period has been 85°. So far, July in the contiguous U.S. has been 10th warmest since 1980…warmer than average, but on the whole, not crazy warm.