Knockout storm packs 100 MPH winds & huge hail

Road Closed in Glen Arbor

Road Closed in Glen Arbor, photo via the Glen Arbor Sun

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:

  • Multiple rounds of severe weather impacted northern Michigan on August 2nd, 2015. The first severe thunderstorm warning was issued 10:34 am with an additional 27 warnings being issued before the last warning of the day expired at 8:00 pm.
  • The largest hail reported was 4.25″, or the size of a softball, seven miles north of West Branch at 4:55 pm. The large hail was reported by trained spotters and members of the public. There were several reports of damage to vehicles and other property. At the time of the event, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was in effect for all of Ogemaw County, issued at 4:33 pm. Additional reports of 1.00″ to 2.00″ hail were received from law enforcement, emergency managers, trained spotters and the public across multiple locations in northern Michigan.
  • The 4.25″ hail observed seven miles north of West Branch was the largest documented hail stone ever to impact northern Michigan since records began in 1950 and the largest since 1998 when a 3.50″ hail stone was recorded in Arenac County.
  • Hundreds of downed trees and power lines were reported on Sunday as 60-80 mph (locally 90-100 mph) straight-line winds accompanied the severe thunderstorms.

Lots more at that link including some pics of that hail.

Jellyfish Stormfront

Old Mission Storm Cloud

 

Untitled, photo by Tom Parrent

Tom shot this last night on Traverse City’s Old Mission Peninsula.

Some staggering storming here in my hometown. Here’s some pics you might be able to see from my friend Kelly and some from my neighborhood.

View Tom’s photo bigger on Facebook and see more right here.

Stormy Monday

Tornado Warning

Tornado Warning, photo by Jeffrey Smith

WZZM says that severe weather is becoming more likely Monday afternoon as a cold front sweeps through the state:

Monday will begin with sun but storms will develop to the west and advance quickly into West Michigan by late afternoon/early evening time frame. Models are suggesting the atmosphere will be unstable with abundant moisture by Monday afternoon, meaning storms will have a favorable environment to grow.

The NOAA Storm Prediction Center has most of Lower Michigan in the ‘enhanced risk’ area (orange) on Monday meaning several thunderstorms could reach severe levels. To read more about the convective outlook Monday, click here.

Threats from this round of thunderstorms include damaging wind, hail, lightning, isolated tornadoes, and brief heavy downpours. Thunderstorms reach severe criteria when winds are at least 58 mph, hail is one inch in diameter, or a tornado is produced.

Read the detailed forecast for severe weather and you’d like to get more alarmed, check in with Fox 17 West Michigan’s Kevin Craig.

View Jeffrey’s photo bigger and click for more of his clouds photos.

Stormy Monday, T Bone Walker…. and for good measure, B.B. King.

Storm over Munising

Munising, Mi. Lake effect clouds just off shore today.

Munising, Mi. Lake effect clouds just off shore today, photo by Thom Skelding

Winter has arrived across the state, just in time for 2015.

View Tom’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More weather and more Lake Superior on Michigan in Pictures!

Armistice Day Blizzards, yesterday & today

Super Storm on Superior

Super Storm on Superior, photo by Cory Genovese

74 years ago today on November 11, 1940, Michigan got blasted by one of the most severe November storms on record, the Armistice Day Blizzard. The Michigan Historical Marker in Ludington regarding the Armistice Day Blizzard says:

On November 11, 1940, a severe storm swept the Great Lakes area. As it crossed Lake Michigan, ships and seamen fought to reach safety away from its blinding winds and towering seas. Between Big and Little Points Sable the freighters William B. Davock and Anna C. Minch foundered with the loss of all hands. The crew of the Novadoc, driven aground south of Pentwater, battled icy winds and water for two days before being rescued by local fishermen. At Ludington the car-ferry City of Flint 32 was driven ashore, her holds flooded to prevent further damage. Elsewhere lives were lost and ships damaged in one of Lake Michigan’s greatest storms.

Also see the entry on the Armistice Day Blizzard at carferries.com. Wikipedia’s entry for the Armistice Day Blizzard adds that 66 people lost their lives on Lake Michigan on three freighters, the SS Anna C. Minch, the SS Novadoc, and the SS William B. Davock, as well as two smaller boats that sank and (at least) another 4 perished on land. There was one positive outcome though:

Prior to this event, all of the weather forecasts for the region originated in Chicago. After the failure to provide an accurate forecast for this blizzard, forecasting responsibilities were expanded to include 24-hour coverage and more forecasting offices were created, yielding more accurate local forecasts.

While it’s nothing like what happened in 1940, the Upper Peninsula is currently under a winter storm warning and looking at 8-16″ of snow today as an early season blizzard barrels through.

Cory took this shot on Lake Superior during the most severe late fall storm in recent times, Superstorm Sandy. View it bigger and see a lot more in his U.P. Winter ’12 & ’13 Gallery on his PhotoYoop page at Facebook.

More wild Michigan weather on Michigan in Pictures!

Lake Superior Thunderhead

Lake Superior Thunderhead

Lake Superior Thunderhead, photo by Lake Superior Photo

So far this summer we’ve gotten some free fireworks show such as the storm that swept through last weekend. Shawn wrote:

It was fireworks over the lake last night, my dog was not pleased, however I was ecstatic. Lightning was going off a couple times a second and it did not let up, but stayed mostly in the clouds. I watched this for over an hour, and it just drifted by, stars overhead the entire time – go big screen to see the stars right top of frame.

So… what are you waiting for? Go background big and see more at Lake Superior Photo on Facebook.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Beautiful Beast

Beautiful Beast

Beautiful Beast, photo by Jamie MacDonald

Yesterday saw strong storms in southeast Michigan including some tornado sightings (click that link for photos).

Jamie took this shot last week with a Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye. Check his photo out bigger and see more in his Stormy Weather slideshow.

More wild & wonderful weather on Michigan in Pictures.