After a quiet summer storm wise we had our first tornado warning of the year for the area. I began tracking the storm at 6:30pm as it practically formed over Otsego and began to move east. We picked up 3/4 of an inch of rain in 10 minutes with some thunder and lightning. The cell began to show vortex signatures as it moved towards Plainwell dropping some pea sized hail. As it moved towards Richland trash cans and other objects we tipped over. It was the area along the north end of Little Long Lake — which runs just north of Gull Lake, west of M-43 — where the most damage occurred and it is believed a low level tornado touched down. The feature image is the Radarscope screenshot at 6:56 when the warning went up.
Below is the screen capture of the super-res velocity image at 6:45pm as I was tracking the storm on Radarscope. The red blob in the center is the signature of a possible tornado embedded in the storm cell. The white lines show the possible storm track and the white dot east of Otsego is the hail report. I called the possibility of severe weather just before the tornado warning went up.
Sirens went off in Otsego, Plainwell and Allegan when the warnings went up even after the storms had past. Looking at the criteria on the sirens activation I found that they are still controlled locally in the city where they are located. If there is a tornado or thunderstorm warning in the county they will go off. Some will sound again after the warnings have expired. To me this can be confusing. When I worked at Perrigo if there was a warning within the county they would herd everyone into a storm shelter. For me it was frustrating as I tracked the storms and saw they were moving away from the company but it was securities call and they were looking at safety first.
I am still waiting for the CoCoRaHS rainfall totals to populated. We had .96 inches yesterday, most of which fell during the storm. We have picked up another inch from rain which fell early this morning. For the first two days of September we have over 2 inches.
Periods of showers and thunderstorms will continue through this week as a stalled front remains across the Great Lakes, with occasional waves of low pressure moving along it. With what happened yesterday evening it is a good bet you should keep you eyes on the skies. Even though rain and storm chances are in the 30 to 40% range they can pop up at any time.
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