Wednesday Noon – Summary of the Monday evening severe storms in the southern Great Lakes –
Here’s storm reports from Monday. There were 684 severe weather reports on Monday, a very high number. The real severe storms started in Wisconsin. There was building damage in the Madison WI area. Hail bigger than hen’s eggs fell at Sun Prairie with 2″ hail at Sullivan. Wind gusts hit 84 mph at O’Hare Airport in Chicago (we almost went through O’Hare!) and 74 mph downtown at Navy Pier. Here’s a list of severe storm reports from NE Illinois.
The storms crossed Lake Michigan and produced a 82.3 mph gust at the South Haven Lighthouse. Wind damage was reported at Lawrence, Hartford, Paw Paw, Marcellus, Howardsville, Three Rivers, Coldwater and Hillsdale and Eaton Rapids. Wind gusts hit 75 mph at White Pigeon
The fastest wind gust I saw was 98 mph at the Fort Wayne IN Airport. That’s a big wind gust! A semi was flipped on US 30 in N. Indiana.
Really big severe thunderstorms are rare. We remember the biggest ones…May 31, 1998 (gusts estimated to 130 mph at Grand Haven/Spring Lake and in Walker), July 7, 1991(gust to 85 mph in Walker and in NE Grand Rapids), July 16, 1980 across the I-94 corridor (measured gust to 98 mph at the Coast Guard Station at St. Joseph, 71 mph at the Detroit Airport).
A similar situation produced a severe thunderstorm that hit the morning of the Saturday of Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids. That storm had 60-65 mph winds and an inch of rain in an hour. It knocked down tents at the Festival. So hopefully, this is either wrong or overdone or the storms will be weaker than shown here. In any case, stay tuned for forecast updates.
This was the Severe Weather Outlook Map from the Storm Prediction Center for Monday evening. The MODERATE OUTLOOK (Level 4) was for S. Lower Michigan, NE Indiana and NW Ohio. SPC did a pretty good job delineating the severe weather threat areas.
Below is the Severe Weather Outlook for Tuesday:
SPC mentioned the word “derecho”. That’s a line of severe storms that produces a large swath of significant wind damage, generally around 100 miles wide and +240 miles wrong. We’ve already had one in the Great Lakes this summer. I’ll let them decide if this qualified as a derecho – but it looks like we had the length and width requirements to qualify for that clissification.
There was also the danger of a seiche on Lake Michigan. A seiche (pronounced sāsh) occurs when a line of storms produced strong wind pushes the water of a large lake toward the shore. The water level rises. As the storm moves past, the wind stops (or even reverses direction. The water then flows away from shore toward the middle of the lake. As it does, strong rip currents and structural currents can form. Bottom line, don’t swim in Lake Michigan during (duh!) or in the few hours after the storm has passed.
Lightning is always a danger with these storms, as well as heavy rain and local flooding. Here’s some things to keep in mind before the storm:
Don’t park your vehicle under a tree. That goes for yourself, too. Don’t stand under a tree during a thunderstorm. Close your garage door, especially if it faces west. Take down hanging baskets, wind chimes, anything else that can blow around in the wind.
Turn your trampoline upside down-so it won’t go flying away in the wind. Charge your phone, make sure your flashlight has good batteries. Many pets are scared by the thunder, lightning and wind. They might do better in the basement with some soft music. After the storm, stay away – FAR AWAY – from any downed power lines.
In a severe thunderstorm situation, the same rules apply as a tornado – 1) Get inside a building if you can 2) Go to the lowest floor – a basement if you have one 3) Stay away from windows.
NOTE: I was out of town Monday PM/Tuesday – in airplane mode much of the time – so I wasn’t be here to update the blog. Radar here should update automatically. TV is always our #1 priority, so Ellen, Matt, Terri and Sara (our newest member of Storm Team 8 – who experienced the Iowa derecho of 2020) will be around to keep you posted.
This Tuesday morning, I’m in Portland, Maine. Michelle (daughter #3) and I flew from Lansing to Washington D.C. and then on the Portland. The flight from LAN to DCA was amazing. I got a window seat and could hardly look away. There were scattered cirrus clouds above us and scattered cumulus clouds below us. In the distance you could see the billowing cumulonimbus. The land was mostly farms and everything looked green and growing from the air.
The flight from D.C. to Maine – we watched the sunset, then the full moon rose in the east. Moonlight glistened off the rivers, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. I tried to pick out cities and landforms based on my knowledge of geography. It’s cool here in Maine – just 61 right now.
I missed the storms, but tried to keep up on the blog, facebook and twitter when I wasn’t on a plane. Ohio got hit the worst, with nearly a quarter million customers without power statewide. Michigan was around 30K and nearly 9K of that was in Van Buren County. (top pic. is lightning west of S. Haven over Lake Michigan – from Brennan Prill)
Here’s the latest Grand Rapids National Weather Service Forecast Discussion, current Michigan weather observations, a surface weather map, severe thunderstorm and tornado watches in the U.S., meso-discussions (often issued before a watch) and storm reports.
Here’s storm reports from Saturday and there were some significant ones. Of the seven reported tornadoes, the one that went through Maryville, Kansas did the most damage. Four industrial buildings collapsed. US. 36, a main street in town was blocked by debris. There was a tornado near Pendleton OR.
Winds hit 92 mph at Castle Rock SD, 84 mph at Hardin MT, 83 mph at Manhattan, KS (look what the storm did to the Chi Omega Sorority House – nice pic. with mammatus clouds at the link) and 80 mph near Sturgis SD.
Hail 5″ in diameter (bigger than a softball) fell near Beatrice, Nebraska).