Here’s a stunning photo from 7 Junes ago by Kevin. Check out more in his Storms gallery on Flickr.
Also, have a great weekend folks – I’m taking tomorrow off!
In 1973, the nation (and my 8-year-old self) were captivated by a wave of Unidentified Flying Object sightings. Clipping the stories from the paper for a scrapbook left me with a lifelong fascination for UFOs which is apparently becoming mainstream. Last night 60 Minutes showed some declassified UFO footage previously leaked to The New York Times by Christopher Mellon and Luis Elizondo:
“It’s bizarre and unfortunate that someone like myself has to do something like that to get a national security issue like this on the agenda,” Mellon said. Everyone Whitaker spoke with underscored that unidentified means just that, not yet identified, there’s no evidence these phenomena are extraterrestrial, and they are a potential national security risk no matter who created them because the technology seems far beyond what the U.S. can currently produce.
Mellon said the UFOs are not secret U.S. government technology, and “I can say that with a very high degree of confidence in part because of the positions I held in the department, and I know the process.”
Former Navy pilot Lt. Ryan Graves told Whitaker that fellow pilots began seeing UAPs hovering over restricted airspace off Virginia Beach in 2014, after upgrades to their radar, and continued seeing UAP’s off the Atlantic Coast “every day for at least a couple years.”
The Michigan State Police are asking residents to take part in a voluntary statewide tornado drill as part of the state’s Severe Weather Awareness Week. The drill is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 19. Gov. Rick Snyder had declared Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week from April 16-22. If severe weather occurs on April 19, the statewide tornado drill will be rescheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 20.
Nearly all state of Michigan facilities are expected to participate, and businesses, organizations and individual residents and their families are encouraged to join in as well.
“Tornadoes can develop rapidly, with little or no warning,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Due to their unpredictable nature, we must be ready well in advance. We’re asking residents and businesses to take a few extra steps during the week to ensure they’re prepared.”
Tornadoes are especially prevalent in late spring and early summer, and the average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes. In the event of a tornado, state officials recommend residents find the lowest place to take cover, take shelter under something sturdy, stay tuned to local weather broadcasts and watch for signs of a tornado, including dark skies, large hail, a large low-lying cloud and a loud roar.
More wild weather on Michigan in Pictures!
The Detroit Free Press reports that millions of people in Michigan lost power in yesterday’s crazy winds and many are still without power:
A barrage of high winds Wednesday cut power to a record 700,000 DTE Energy customers and 290,000 customers of Consumers Energy across southeast and south-central Michigan, utility officials said.
A number of customers had been restored by about 10 p.m., bringing DTE’s outage number down to about 650,000 and Consumers’ down to 210,000.
…The total number of customers equates to an even higher number of people because the utilities’ term “customer” refers to electric meters, not individuals. “During the height of the storm, we were seeing 1,000 customer outages a minute,” said Randi Berris, a communications manager for DTE Energy.
As utility crews from Michigan began 16-hour shifts, and crews from four other states were due to arrive around dawn Thursday, families in the dark faced forecasts of possible snow and sliding temperatures for southeast Michigan, with a low of 12 predicted in Detroit by early Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Across the region, as winds clocked as high as 68 m.p.h. at Metro Airport, the weather knocked down even more trees and power lines than usual because the ground, instead of being frozen at this time of year, was soft and super-saturated with this winter’s unusually heavy rains, DTE Energy said.
View DTE’s photo bigger on their Facebook and thanks to the crews from both companies and elsewhere for their hard work – stay warm everyone!
I’ve featured the worst storm in Great Lakes history before, but ThumbWind has a cool feature on The Great Storm of 1913 that includes some interesting information and photos. It says in part:
…the most savage storm in the history of the Great Lakes swept the inland waters November 7-12, 1913 resulting in much greater loss of life. Combined of the forces of two storm fronts colliding with hurricane force bringing monstrous waves and driving snow and ice that doomed anyone caught out on the big lake. The greatest losses in lives and ships occurred on Lake Huron where 24 vessels were lost or severely damaged. 10 ships went to the bottom of the lake.
…On Lake Huron big freighters were tossed about by winds blowing from seventy-five to eighty miles an hour. One of these steamers was the Charles S. Price which received more space on the front pages of newspapers than any other ship. On Saturday morning, the Price, laden with soft coal, left Ashtabula, Ohio. When the freighter passed the town of St. Clair before dawn on Sunday morning, November 9, Second Mate Howard Mackley gave a short blast of the whistle as a signal to his young bride that he was passing and in reply she turned on an upstairs light in their home. By dawn the Price was making its way up Lake Huron. About noon Sunday the Price was seen north of Harbor Beach by Capt. A. C. May of the Steamer H. B. Hawgood.
On Monday afternoon a big steel freighter was seen floating upside down in the lake about eight miles north and east of the mouth of Lake Huron. Many people were anxious to learn the name of the steamer, although it was generally believed to be the Regina. On Wednesday morning an attempt was made to find out the identity of the vessel, however, owing to the high sea the diver did not make his descent. Lake Huron kept its awful secret for almost a week. It was not until Saturday morning, November 15, that William H. Baker, a diver from Detroit, solved the mystery. When he went down he read the name of the steamer twice and the letters spelled out Charles S. Price. The forward part of the bottom of the ship was buoyed up by air that was held in her when she turned turtle, but two streams of bubbles were coming out of the bow which meant that she would settle gradually. On Monday morning, November 17, the Price disappeared from view.
More Michigan shipwrecks on Michigan in Pictures.
Heather of Snap Happy Gal Photography was one of many photographers who made the trek to Grand Haven for a weekend storm that was supposed to produce massive waves. While Heather says she didn’t see anything quite as big as the the 20-footers forecast, the lake was still putting on a rocking show!
Often when I post a photo like this, I get some blowback from a reader or two who thinks that pictures like this aren’t OK because someone might somehow get hurt. Heather’s thoughts mirror my own on this:
So this guy – with his superior swimming ability, experience and thick wetsuit (with gloves, booties, and full hood + helmet) is crazy. Who would ever put their life in such danger?
Oh – all of us. All the time. Like when I drove in a metal box at 75mph on my way to take photos of this guy.
More Michigan surfing shots on Michigan in Pictures!
Dale took this photo of the Grand Haven Lighthouse yesterday and writes:
. . . Rita, . . . Sandy . . . Lake Michigan! Like the Weather Channel commercial, this lake which is only 60-80 miles across makes some of the best Gales of November! Grand Haven was busier than a summer’s day today, kind of disappointed I could not get a Pronto Pup or a Dairy Treat!
The Detroit Free Press reports that massive waves of up to 20 feet in height are forecast for Lake Michigan:
An intense low pressure system is still projected to slam into the western Great Lakes on Wednesday night.
The main hazard with this storm will be incredibly strong winds in excess to 45 m.p.h. at times. This will cause numerous issues, including downed trees and the potential for power outages.
In addition to impacts on land, Lake Michigan will also suffer the wrath of this strong fall storm, where waves could reach as high as 20 feet offshore. A gale watch has been issued by the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids for the Lakeshore and will be in effect from Wednesday evening through Friday afternoon.
NOAA’s Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System has a ton of resources for visualizing live data and forecasts for all of the Great Lakes. Be sure to check out the animation of forecasted wave heights on Lake Michigan – pretty cool to watch. In case you’re wondering, the tallest (recorded) wave on Lake Michigan is 23′ from September of 2011. Of course the bouys shut down for the winter in December, and they only started measuring in 1988.
One more day of storm reporting from my neck of the woods…
In Glen Arbor Hit By Knockout Storm, Jacob Wheeler of the Glen Arbor Sun lays out a diary of the destruction of the storm and wrote:
In the storm’s wake yesterday, Glen Arbor residents immediately recognized that the destruction they witnessed was unprecedented for our town. This was worse than the 1987 storm, people said. In fact, it was far worse. The storm was more powerful and more destructive than any other Glen Arbor storm ever recorded. And now we have stats to prove it.
I spoke late this afternoon to Jeff Lutz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Gaylord. While Lutz clarified that yesterday’s storm was not a tornado (you can blame some of the hyperbole on this newspaper) he did confirm that the straight-line winds which accompanied the sudden thunderstorm reached speeds of 100 miles per hour. That’s strong enough to be called a tornado. More significantly, it blows away the previous wind velocity record for Leelanau County. According to the NWS, on Sept. 13, 2005, a barrage of wind traveling at 63 miles per hour hit Leland and Empire, but not Glen Arbor. But 63 is not 100. Not even close. Nope, yesterday’s storm was the strongest to ever hit Leelanau County, since records were kept starting in 1950.
You can click through to the Sun for more pics and storm coverage and get even more on their Facebook. Jacob also shared the National Weather Service’s Aug. 2 severe weather recap:
Lots more at that link including some pics of that hail.