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May 31st is the anniversary of the famous “derecho” thunderstorm outbreak of 1998. Around 5 AM that Sunday morning, the storms blasted through West Michigan with winds estimated as high as 130 mph in Grand Haven and Walker. According to the Storm Prediction Center, this episode ranks as one of the top thunderstorm events in world history! A large area of significant wind damage occurred from South Dakota all the way to the East Coast. In Michigan, there were four fatalities and 153 people were injured. Not a single stoplight was working between Grand Rapids and Baldwin. The toll would have been much worse if the storms would have come through in the afternoon instead of in the early morning when most people were asleep in their homes.
I went out to visit Spencer, S.D. where the worst tornado occurred as the supercells first formed (see pic.). That small town was pretty much wiped out. Only two blocks in the entire town were spared significant tornado damage. The tornado was an EF4 and was the most destructive tornado in the history of the state. The tornado occurred at sunset and afterward it was soon dark. It was morning before some of the victims were found. A portable Doppler radar indicated winds of 220 mph with that tornado. In a town of 315, there were six fatalities and nearly half the town residents who where there that night were injured. The population of the town dropped to 145 after the tornado.
The supercells eventually formed the line that raced from eastern S.D. to Massachusetts and out into the Atlantic Ocean. Eighteen years later you can still identify swaths where most of the trees were blown over (White Lake exit on US 31 – the Spring Lake Cemetery). Here’s a radar loop from S. Dakota to Michigan. Read more here, here, and here. More pics. here. The 1998 storm was a “once in a lifetime event”. The storm line formed in S. Dakota and the line went 400 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean before the storms dissipated.
The numbers on this map are wind gusts from the storm…in red those were measured gusts, in tan, they were estimated wind gust speeds. I would be surprised if we saw an event of that intensity (130 mph wind gusts in Grand Haven and Walker) and widespread area again in my lifetime. Here’s pictures from Grand Haven after the storm.
A final note…1998 was a year when we were coming out of a strong El Nino and moving toward a weak La Nina – similar to the pattern we have for 2015-16. In 1998, there were four major derechos across the Great Lakes states…this one was the worst. Storm Team 8 will be tracking storms this summer. We’ve had a pretty quiet spring for severe weather in Michigan and in the U.S. In a pattern like this, wind damage is the greatest overall threat from fast-moving thunderstorms.
Here’s a couple pictures of my dad (John Steffen 1913-2004, probably about age 28-29 in the pictures) from WWII. Dad is the guy in the lower right in the first picture (with the Tommy-Gun, a machine gun) My father was a big band, swing and jazz drummer in Chicago during the 1930s. Side note: he played some gigs with Walt Perry (Parazaider), the father of Walt Parazaider of the group “Chicago”. Walt Sr. was a tall trumpet player. Dad played at the big hotels, for private parties and at some of the jazz clubs around 31st and State and 35th and State on the S. Side of Chicago. He was actually called “Whitey” before anyone dreamed that might not be anything but a descriptive and fond nickname. He loved jazz because it was so creative and you didn’t play the same songs the same way every time. Dad was part of a band that Northwestern Univ. put together to tour Europe in 1938 and demonstrate current popular American music. They were in Europe for around 5 months. There’s a movie very loosely based on this tour called “Swing Kids”. The NAZIs were clamping down on swing and jazz, but their definition of “jazz” was so vague that it was easy to get around the authorities by doing things like changing the name of the songs (to something like “Springtime in Bavaria”). My dad came back and told everyone that there was this maniac named “Hitler” and he “wants to take over the world – we’re going to be at war with this guy”. People here thought that we had crushed Germany in WWI and they didn’t consider them that much of a threat. So, my dad went and enlisted in the Army in 1940. He thought he’d be higher up the food chain when the war came if he enlisted early. He went out to basic training at Rockford, Illinois. They found out he had taken a couple of aviation classes, so they moved him to the Army Air Corps. He went to Missouri, living in a cold tent during the winter. During maneuvers, when the guys were jumping off a cliff one right after the other, the guy behind my dad jumped too soon and landed on his back. Dad was in the hospital in St. Louis for weeks, but eventually made a 99% recovery (could only make about a 80% golf swing). After that, though, he couldn’t be a pilot. He spent two years at Frederick Army Air Field in Oklahoma (he did fly in B24s and B25s – side note…one of the pilot instructors on Bs at Frederick Army Air Field was George Gobel, also from Chicago, who went on to become a famous comedian – funny clip at the link – war reference aboiut 14 min. into the video) – he got to most of the 48 states during the war and after that he was part of a crew that set up supply depots around the U.S. The picture on the right is probably from Fort Bragg in N.C. His brother, Felix, was the top motorcycle mechanic in Chicago (he married Dorothy Johnson from Fennville MI) and after enlisting in the Army after Pearl Harbor, Felix wound up in India with the Brits, where they ran motorcycles thru the jungles. Both my father and Felix were excellent harmonica players. Felix asked his wife to send harmonicas to India. Felix then gave them out to the natives and taught them to play American songs. My dad thought about making the Army a career, but decided to go back to Chicago to help his parents after the war ended. He put his life and his music on hold for over five years to make sure his kids didn’t have to wear swastikas and for that I am very grateful.
I’ll probably be attending our local Alpine Township ceremony at the cemetery on Vinton at 11 am. Here’s a list of Memorial Day parades. Growing up, the biggest parade in our town (Wilmette, Illinois) was the Memorial Day parade. I think my dad marched in that parade for +40 years…first as a veteran and member of the parade-sponsoring American Legion Post…then as Scoutmaster of our Boy Scout Troop…then playing the bass drum with the Grosse Point Band (which he did until he was 87 and couldn’t carry the drum for the 1.5 mile route. After the parade, the American Legion had free ice cream for everyone. Like Elisha and the widow’s oil…the ice cream kept coming! There is a sloppy joe lunch for everyone in S. Haven today.
The weather looks good today…partly to mostly sunny, low 80s inland, low 70s near Lake Michigan. Keep the sunblock handy. Both the NAM and GFS have it dry today and tomorrow with a better than 50/50 chance of measurable rain on Weds. (mostly PM). Highs mostly low 80s inland.
At noon, it’s 80 in Grand Rapids, 78 at Kalamazoo and Marshall, 77 at Fremont and Ionia, 76 at Muskegon (airport), Holland (airport), Battle Creek and Mt. Pleasant, 75 in Big Rapids, 74 in S. Haven (airporit) and 73 at Cadillac and Benton Harbor (airport). The Muskegon beach air temp. is 62.4 and S. Haven’s beach air temp. is 62.1.
No thunderstorms here in MI today, but it’ll be an active day for severe weather in the Plains States. This is the Severe Weather Outlook Map for this afternoon. We’ll have a chance of a t-storm on Weds. into Thurs. AM and again a chance of a shower or t-storm next weekend.
I went on a +4 mile hike on Sunday. Look what Ellen Bacca did Sunday. Most likely time for rain Weds. and Weds. night. Two or three tornadoes in this shot. Texas double rainbow. Haboob…incoming! Hail making I-40 slick. Sunset at The Villages (special “HI” to Damian and Lori). Video of storms in Wisconsin that missed us. Flooding in Germany (vehicles floating down street at link). Lightning with the setting sun. Satellite pic. of Northern Alaska at midnight (Land of the Midnight Sun). Tropical Storm Bonnie from 37,000 feet. This is a rain shaft, not a tornado. A skinny “tuba”. Ka-Boom! Circumhorizontal arc. Looks like the church is on fire! I-95 flooded and impassible from Bonnie’s rain in SC. Some flood reports from SC. Rainfall in SC: 8.20″ Ridgeland, 5.52″ St. John’s Is., 5.75″ Okatie, 3.9″ Beaufort, 3.56″ Waynesburo, 3.24″ Charleston. Lightning hit about 500 yds. away. Nice clear lightning bolt. Waterspout at Lake Neufchatel in Switzerland. Waterspout at Van, Turkey. Don’t just look at the amazing lighting, check out the cloud base. Colorado rainbow. Cool clouds – Madison WI. Sun, rain and oil. Multiple cloud-ground lightning bolts. Hail that looks like a snowstorm! Snow is gone at Barrow AK, except for a few leftover piles. Ice still covers the Arctic Ocean. Next sunset August 2. Another video of the dramatic flood in Braunsbach, Germany. Buildings getting swept away! Much of Europe’s had a lot of rain! Showers likely at the French Open Tennis Tournament.
“that car averaged 148 mph for 48 hours- over 7000 miles in 2 days- in 1937. Good luck breaking that record. Here’s the winning car of the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.
I got these pics. from F.O.B. (friend of the blog), Kyle Piers. This is from Rockford around 11 Mile Road and Young Ave. Until I hear otherwise, I’ll assume this was a relatively small-area wind event. If anyone witness what happened, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In a situation like this…when someone gets up there to look at damage, the damage is pretty well cleaned up. There was a power outage of 554 people in the area. Here’s another pic. Looks like a local microburst.
The map from SPC shows 3 tornado touchdowns near Republic MI in the U.P. last Tues. However, the official report from the Marquette NWS only shows two (from the same storm…could be the same tornado bopped down and up and down. This map shows tornado touchdowns this year in red, severe criteria wind in blue and severe criteria hail (1″ or greater in diameter) in green.
Also: Nice funnel cloud in Scotland. Flooding in the Netherlands. Wow! Look at the hail. Cool lightning bolt hitting Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Interesting tweets from NBC reporter covering Trump event in CA. Wow! Three funnel clouds in the same shot. Nice mammatus time lapse. Rainbow and what looks like a hail shaft. Nice pic. of crepuscular rays. Tornado near Ransom KS. Looks like a tornado, but isn’t. Check out the mammatus! Western Pacific has no tropical storms or typhoons this calendar year. Europe can get some big hailstones. Sunrise in Munich, Germany with distant t-storm on the right. French tornado. Another view. Vineyards devastated by hailstorm. Satellite loop of storms that produced record rain NW of Houston. Double rainbow. Oklahoma lightning. Tuba. Ka-Boom!
I’ve got several relatively fresh threads below this one…so read on below if you have time. Have a safe and perfect holiday weekend! Thanks so much for reading my blog.
A strong magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck Saturday near the Fiji Islands (well east of Australia). No signficant tsunami was indicated as I write this. What’s interesting is that a magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred yesterday about 90 miles north of where this earthquake occurred. Also aftershocks are still occurring in Equador after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake occurred on 5/18.
Brenham, Texas had an incredible 16.62″ of rain on Thursday. That beat the old record for rainfall in a single calendar day by over 6″ !! The old record was 10.38″ on 10/17/94. The 16.62″ total would be itself be the 4th wettest month ever in Brenham. Right now May stands as 2nd wettest month, behind June 1899 (22.17″).
Needless to say, there are flooding problems. The Brazos River is expected to rise to 3.5 feet higher than it has ever been in history. Check out this live high water rescue.
I may be jumping the gun a little, but I do think that Tropical Depression 2 will reach tropical storm status (39 mph winds) today (Sat.). I don’t think it reaches hurricane status and the strongest winds should remain off the Carolina coast with maybe a peak gust of 30-40 mph on land areas at the coast.
This is total rainfall forecast for Saturday/Sunday combined by the Weather Prediction Center. You can see the potential for 2-4″ rains from Bonnie in the Carolinas and perhaps up into SE Virginia. With a brisk, northeast breeze, it won’t be the best weekend for outdoor plans there…but no significant damage is expected from Bonnie. You can see we get 1/2″+ of rain here in West Michigan and a nice soaking for the U.P., where it has been dry. More showers and storms for waterlogged Texas and even a little rain for the mountains of California.
Here’s the Public Advisory on Bonnie, the Forecast Advisory (tells you where the Tropical Storm Warning is in effect), the Forecast Discussion, Wind Probabilities, Wind Speed Probability Map, the wide Funktop Satellite Loop, a closer infrared satellite loop, Charleston SC radar, Wilmington NC radar, Moorehead City NC radar, Wakefield VA radar, Weather Observations from South Carolina and North Carolina (buoy data at link) and an explanation of the tropical storm and hurricane categories.
This picture is the Sleeping Bear Dunes, from the National Lakeshore. I’ve run down and up those dunes a couple times. The Great Lakes water levels remain higher than average and should remain that way through the summer (and in fact through much of the rest of the year). The level of Lake Superior is unchanged over the last month, down 3″ in the last year, but is still 6″ above the May average level. Lake Michigan/Huron is up 1″ in the last month, up 8″ year-to-year and is 14″ above the century May average. Lake Erie is unchanged in the last month, up 13″ in the last year and is also 14″ above the long-term May average. Lake Ontario is down 3″ in the last month, up 9″ year-to-year and is 2″ above the average May level. Lake St. Clair is up 1″ in the last month, up 11″ in the last year and is now 15″ higher than the average level for late May. Higher water levels means less beach, less need for dredging, but it means it’s a lot easier for waves to come over the piers and breakwaters. Be careful on windy days with higher waves…and…beware of swimming near or jumping off piers and breakwaters on windy days. Dangerous structural currents develop on the windward side of the piers and breakwaters on windy days. So, if you’re at one of our beautiful Great Lakes beaches…swim well away from the pier or breakwater on windy days.
Great Lakes News: The Port Sheldon buoy is back. High water headaches. 7th graders test Lake Michigan water. 268 new cars at the bottom of Lake Michigan. Exploring Washington Island. Man-made Islands. A toxic mystery.
The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornado touchdowns near the town of Republic. That’s west of Marquette and Ishpeming. No injuries were reported. Looks like EF0 or low-end EF1, but we’ll wait for further word from the NWS in Marquette.
Here’s the details on the 2nd touchdown, likely from the same storm. Hail was reported at Kingsford and Caspian MI and the NWS at the airport at Negaunee had 1.73″ of rain in 3 hours (1.85″ total). Munising reported 0.75″ of rain and Iron Mt. had 0.49″. The high temp. of 87 on Tue. missed the record high for the date by 2 degrees. The Forecast Discussion from GRR NWS is a good one. High temps. continue to exceed model data, esp. for G.R. G.R. seems to read warm when the sun is high, the winds are light and we haven’t had rain for awhile (10 days now without measurable rain. The ground dries out.
We’ve also had at least 12 separate tornado touchdowns (again likely from the same storm) from SW to NW of Dodge City KS. (more links to pics. and some pretty amazing video of the twisters in the thread below this one). The area around the tornado is rainfree – so you can see the sunset behind the tornado. Above the tornado is a strong updraft. To the far right is the rain (and possible hail). Satellite view of the t-storms blowing up in the Plains this PM. Good tornado video. Twin Tornadoes. One more pic. of the Dodge City tornado. Almost softbball-sized hail. Stovepipe stage. One more tornado pic. Look at the debris in this video! More debris video. Look at this cool pic.
The Muskegon beach camera caught a wind surfer this afternoon. The winds have died down considerably this evening. At 10:35 pm, the Port Sheldon buoy showed a water temp. of 56.5, an air temp. of 63.9, a 5 mph wind and waves of 7 inches. At the mid-lake buoy, the water temp. was 48.5, the air temp. 56.5 and waves were just 4 inches high.
A 6.1 Magnitude equake struck Central Australia at 4:14 am local time Saturday AM. The quake was centered about 78 miles west of the famous reddish sandstone rock formation called Uluru or Ayers Rock. The depth was about 6.3 miles. This is an unusually strong earthquake for Australia, though a magnitude 5.6 quake hit just west of this area in 1999. No significant damage or injuries have been reported. There are no permanent settlements near the earthquake center. The nearest indigenous community is over 65 miles from the center of the quake. The quake was felt at Alice Springs. A number of aftershocks have already been reported. The strongest recorded quake to hit Australia was a magnitude 6.6 earthquake which hit the small mining town of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, in January 1988.
This is the 8-14 day outlook for May 27 to June 2 (inc. Memorial Day Weekend) from the Climate Prediction Center. Odds favor temps. to be warmer than average, which would put average highs about in the upper 70s to even near 80. This warm pattern should lock in for much of the summer. With warmer than average conditions to the Northern U.S. and near to even cooler than average conditions in the Southern U.S., this might suggest less of a temperature gradient and perhaps a lower than average tornado count continuing into the summer. I think we will have to worry about straight-line thunderstorms winds a few days this summer. Previous years with a strong El Nino morphing into a weak-moderate La Nina have had derechoes moving across the Great Lakes States (1983, 1998 (the big one in W. Michigan), 1998, 1998).
The rainfall prediction is an equal chance of above or below average precipitation. A quick glance at one model suggests that Sunday would have the greatest chance of rain over the Memorial Day Weekend, but it’s way too early to pin that down exactly yet. We continue the pattern of wetter than average conditions in the Southern Plains and Southeast and Dry across parts of the northern U.S. east of the Rockies.
Also: Another pic. of the awesome Jacksonville FL roll cloud. Cool pic. of reflected clouds in NYC. Cirrus and a cool contrail. Look out New Orleans!!! Quietest start to severe weather season in KY in over 20 years. Severe reports for Thurs. – isolated hail and damaging wind along the Gulf Coast and high winds near the Great Salt Lake – the West stays windy. No tornadoes in the U.S. again today (thru 10 pm EDT) Classic FL t-storm. Lake Ontario sunset. Big t-storm complex crossing LA. Sunset over Meads Bay, Anguilla. Double rainbow. All-time record high temperature for India might have been broken in subsident air mass adjacent to TC Roanu, 124F. Truck driver on roof of cab in flood, waiting to be rescued. Rain, storms in the Rockies. Drought ends in Texas. 150 years of global hurricane tracks…not in S. America. Memorial Day gas prices lowest in over 10 years.
Lots more in the threads below this one – some pretty pics., too.
This is a zoomed in picture of the burn area and current fires around Fort McMurray in Northeast Alberrta Canada (Credits: NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey). You can see the 10 km scale (6.3 miles) in the lower right of the picture. The fire has consumed 2410 square kilometers or 930.5 square miles. By comparison, Kent County is 872 square miles. The Fire burnt all around the town of Fort McMurray. About 4,000 oil sands workers were forced to evacuate today. This area is about 16 miles north of Fort McMurray. About 15% of the city of Fort McMurray was affected by fire, with 85% intact. Only one school was affected by the fire. The hospital was not significantly damaged, but is still not operational. A field hospital has been constructed. A State of Emergency and Mandatory Evacuation Areas remain in effect. The State of Emergency allows officials and responders to enter land and buildings without a warrant. There is also a Boil Water Advisory. There is an ongoing Emergency Pet Rescue Operation. Many pets have been rescued and are being taken care of mostly by trained volunteers. There are smoldering hot spots and air quality is poor at times. Hundreds of vehicles that were abandoned on roads out of Fort McMurray are being stored. For awhile today, the fire was moving northeast at a rate of 46 minutes per mile. Warmer temperatures in the low-mid 70s F and low humidities are hampering the efforts to fight the fire. There are 1,100 fire fighters, 46 helicopters and 29 air tankers fighting the fire, mainly during daylight hours.
Picture of Supercell T-Storm near Hereford, Texas (from Erica Camacho and KAMR). Severe T-Storms have hit the Texas Panhandle and W. Oklahoma. At least 4 tornadoes have been reported (at least a couple of duplicate reports here), along with baseball-sized hail and wind gusts to 70 mph. Pic. of bigger than golfball hail north of Amarillo.
So far, the average temperature for 2016 (since 1/1) in G.R. is 1.1 deg. warmer than average. 2015 was 0.2 deg. cooler than average, 2014 was 2.6 deg. cooler than average and 2014 was 0.5 deg. cooler than average.
Model Update: Chance of measurable rain today…from the NAM: 13% for G.R., 30% for Kalamazoo, 51% for Sturgis. From the GFS: 20% chc. measurable rain for G.R., 34% for Kalamazoo, 52% for Sturgis (go with the higher numbers). GFS has a 20% chc. of rain for G.R. on Saturday and 41% for Sturgis (higher for Indiana). Dry pattern ahead, esp. for areas north of G.R. GFS high temps. next 8 days: 63, 67, 68, 71, 74, 72, 78, 77.
Check out the radar and links in the thread below. Still some light showers south of G.R. in the AM.
Check out the white snow and white blossoms this weekend in Sparta. “I think we dodged a bullet,” said Jack Gray, owner of Gray’s Fruit Farm in Benzonia. Huge fire – 7 buildings in Chicago. Tornado near Felt OK. NOT a tornado! 10-year running total U.S. hurricane landfalls is currently at the lowest on record (7) back to 1850 (prev: 8, 1982). SAFE! A rare circumhorizontal arc. Some flooding in TX. No Tropical Cyclones around the globe since 4/24. The last time that 4/25-5/15 was Tropical Cyclone-free was 1985.
Early Monday AM: Temperatures along the lakeshore bottomed out before midnight. Gr. Rapids fell to 41 at 11 pm, but rose back to 43 at midnight. Muskegon was 42 at 10 pm – back up to 45 at midnight. Ludington stopped at 40 at 10:35 pm and was back to 44 shortly after midnight. Some inland areas were in the mid-upper 30s, but despite the clear skies…we also have the wind holding up…and a little warmer air trying to come back into Michigan. We’ll be back into the low-mid 60s today (50s at Lake Michigan). There’s a band of showers heading our way (regional radar) and we’ll have a chance of showers moving thru the area from NW to SE between late today and early tomorrow. Then we have an extended period of dry weather coming up for the rest of the week.
Low temps. early Sunday AM: 28 Cadillac and Leota, 30 Houghton Lake, 31 Kent City and Clarksville, 32 at Fremont, Manistee, Baldwin, East G.R., Sparta Eaton Rapids, Bloomingdale, Big Rapids, Ionia and Ludington, 33 at Muskegon, Alma, Sturgis, Hart, Hudsonville, Belding, Mt. Pleasant and Lansing, 34 at Jackson, Charlotte, Hopkins and Hastings, 35 at Battle Creek and Holland, 36 at Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Coldwater, Hillsdale and Marshall, 37 at S. Haven and 40 at Benton Harbor. As you can see from the graphic above, we do not have frost advisories and freeze warnings for SW Michigan tonight. We had frost advisories (light blue) and freeze warnings (dark blue) for Northern Lower Michigan.
Here’s current conditions and a satellite loop. The high of 48 at Muskegon on Sat. tied for the lowest high temp. ever on any May 14. The high of 49 in G.R. was 20 deg. cooler than average. The high temperature reached 81 in Fairbanks AK, setting a new record high temp. for May 14 (beating 80 in 1915). Quite often when Alaska is warmer than average, Michigan is cooler than average and vice versa (ridge, trough in the upper atmosphere). Here’s a few places that had measurable snow Saturday night. The lowest temp. I’ve seen in MI early Sunday am was 24 at Kenton in the U.P. It’s a cold weekend for the Blessing of the Bikes in Baldwin. A trace of snow fell in Lansing Saturday, the first snow ever on any May 14 there. Here’s snowfall in Manistique last night. Radar pic. of lake-effect snow bands in mid-May! Here’s a little snow on on the ground in downtown Traverse City, Reed City, deck covered in snow.
Apples would have to get down to about 29-30 to do any significant damage and with apples planted in high or well-drained spots, I still think we get thru this cool snap without a lot of damage. If you have asparagus (largely Oceana Co. area).. but I think you get thru this without much damage as well.
I check the buoy water temps. With a west wind, the air will be coming off Lake Michigan. The S. Haven buoy had a water temp. of 48.7 deg., the Muskegon buoy was 44.8 and the Ludington buoy had 40.7. Note the difference between Ludington and S. Haven. The air temp. is 42.4 at the Muskegon Buoy and at the S. Haven Lighthouse it’s 42.6. The wind should diminish a little, but that will only mean more time for the air to be over the relatively warmer water…so those temps. shouldn’t fall much. Most orchards are on high ground where the wind should hold up. The temperature a mile above the ground bottomed out around 20 early Sunday. That’s very cold for mid-May! So, you can see that forcing air down to the ground with a helicopter wouldn’t help much. The days are short now…sunrise is at 6:19 am in G.R.
Tonight (Sun. night) should have about the same temps. as last night – maybe a degree or two warmer…so if you made it thru last night without plant damage, you should make it through tonight. We’ll have clouds Monday night. We’ll have a few cool nights for mid-week with clearer skies and light or even calm winds, but the overall airmass will be warmer by then and only scattered frost is expected in low spots, mainly north and northeast of Kent Co.
Here’s the GRR NWS graphic on the frost/freeze possibility for Sunday AM. Model data: The NAM gives G.R. a low temp. of 39 tonight and the GFS 41. Both keep the wind up…with the lowest wind at 7 mph from the west and increasing the wind to 10-12 mph at daybreak. The NAM has a 58% chance of measurable rain for G.R. Monday and 47% for Monday night. The GFS is at 41% Monday and 66% for Monday night. From Tuesday on we have extended stretch of dry weather coming.
The high temp. of 49 on Saturday in G.R. was 20 deg. cooler than average. Other highs: 48 Muskegon, 47 Holland, 38 Houghton, 37 Marquette (average is 61), 36 Ironwood, 35 Watersmeet and Wakefield. The highest snow total I saw in the U.P. was 2.2″. Marquette added 1.1″ of snow Saturday to bring their season total to 160.9″ (even in a “mild winter”, they still get a lot of snow in Marquette! They had an inch on the ground at 1 am on May 15.
Radar and the weekend update in the thread below.
Click on the images to enlarge – Thirty-five years ago today, an F3 (158-206 mph) tornado cut an 11-mile path from eastern Van Buren right through downtown Kalamazoo. In 20 minutes, the storm left 5 dead and 79 injured. Damage totaled 50 million dollars (that’s 1980 dollars). Three hundred homes and 150 businesses were severely damaged or destroyed. Video of the tornado here, here, here and here. There was significant damage to Gilmore’s Dept. Store and dozens of trees were toppled in Bronson Park. Here’s an overhead picture of the park after the twister. There’s more information here and here. Here’s more pictures, and here’s a map of the tornado’s path. Here’s a pic. and summary from the G.R. NWS. Four more pics. (including helicopter shots of the damage) here. Please feel free to share a comment or a link to your pictures of the tornado or its aftermath.
Model update: Both the GFS and NAM overnight models give G.R. a low temp. of 33 early Sun. am (upper 30s Mon. morning),,,so we’ll be flirting with frost. I think we’ll probably have about a 5 mph wind overnight and we may see some partial mid-clouds…both models start rain late this afternoon/early evening. Both models have highs in the low 50s Sat. and mid 50s on Sunday. We’re cooler than average through much of next week…then it’s summer. In the meantime…the Gaylord National Weather Service says: “WE COULD BEGIN TO SEE SOME LAKE ENHANCED SHOWERS IN THE NORTHWEST FLOW. AS COLD AIR CONTINUES TO ADVANCE SOUTH THROUGH THE DAY (SATURDAY), SO TO WILL THE CHANCES FOR SNOW TO MIX IN WITH SHOWERS, WITH A FULL TRANSITION TO SNOW OVERNIGHT. THIS WILL CONTINUE INTO SUNDAY…” When was the last time (if ever) that we’ve seen a forecast for “lake-enhanced snow showers” in the middle of May!!!
This is the 8-14 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for May 20-26. A pattern reversal is coming…and after a chilly weekend and below average temperatures much of next week…it’s going to get warm – we’ll see at least a couple days with highs in the 80s. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a 90 somewhere before Memorial Day.
Here’s U.S. storm reports from Thursday – wind and hail, but no tornadoes.
Great tornado videos here. This 4″ diameter hailstone fell on the SE side of Lincoln Nebraska late this afternoon (pic. from @schmaleli and WOWT). Look at the size of this hail! Hail up to 4.25″ in diameter smashed car windows and put big dents in vehicles. The WalMart was closed after the storm shattered store windows. Cool double rainbow here. Immense hail accumulations after a severe hailstorm in Lovech, Bulgaria this afternoon. Tornado and hail pics. here. Another pic. of the monster-size hail in NE Monday PM. Here’s what baseball-sized hail does to a golf course. Preliminary reports suggest 3 tornadoes touched down near Lincoln, Nebraska. There were two fatalities in tornadoes in Oklahoma. One of those twisters crossed I-35. As of 10:30 pm, 22 tornadoes have been reported today in the U.S., including tornadoes in Illinois and Iowa. More pics. and videos of the OK twisters. The Sulphur OK tornado was a huge wedge.
You’ve probably seen the pic. of the prom couple with the tornado in the background. It reminded me of this wedding pic. with a tornado in the background…and this pic. of a wedding with a tornado in the background…or this pic. of a wildfire in the wedding background.
This is Louisville radar. A severe warned storm is just southeast of Louisville. There was a downpour at the (Kentucky) Derby with an estimated wind gust of 45 mph. It’ll be dry now for the race, which is coming up in a matter of minutes on WOOD TV 8. Severe reports in the Louisville area: Wind damage at Saint Matthews KY, 3/4″ hail at Jeffersontown KY, 1/4″ hail at Lyndon KY. Over 100,000 people are in attendance at the Derby. At 6 pm, the official temp. in Louisville is 74 with a wind northeast at 7 mph. The Kentucky Derby set a record attendance with 170,513 last year (2015). You can see this would present a significant problem if there were a tornado event (a good portion of the stands has a roof overhead that would provide some protection in the event of rain or hail.
Nyquist wins! Exaggerator 2nd, Gun Runner 3rd. Official attendance 167,227.