Raining Fish

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast | 0

Here is a historical (hysterical) weather event of note:

July 27, 1901…A rain of fish from the sky was reported at Tiller’s Ferry, SC. Hundreds of fish were swimming between cotton rows after a heavy shower.

Although rare, there are numerous instances of fish falling down from the skies. Of course, the fish do not really “rain” in the sense of condensing out of water vapor. The fish that fall from the sky are just fish that used to be in the sea or lake. So what puts the fish up in the sky in the first place? Although few detailed scientific observations have been performed on this phenomenon, the common consensus is that tornadoes are the culprit.

When tornadoes traverse over bodies of water, they become known as waterspouts. Waterspouts suck up lake or ocean water along with the fish or other creatures swimming in the water. The fish are sucked up the tornado’s vortex and then blown around in the clouds until the windspeed decreases enough to let them fall back to the ground, perhaps miles away from where they started.

According to Bill Evans’ meteorology book titled It’s Raining Fish and Spiders, creatures fall from the sky about forty times a year. All sorts of creatures have been reported raining down, including snakes, worms, and crabs, but fish and frogs are the most common.

Even squid and alligators have been reported to fall from the sky. Often, the process of being swept high into the clouds encases these creatures in a layer of ice or hail that may still remain after they have plummeted back to earth. Raining creatures encased in blocks of ice can be very dangerous and have been known to smash through car windshields. If you see any wildlife falling from the sky, seek shelter indoors immediately.


Very small chances of creatures falling from the sky today though we are heading into a more active weather pattern.  Best rain and storm action today will be north of Grand Rapids, smaller chances south.

The next storm system will arrive this afternoon. This storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall to the region. Generally 0.50” to 2.00” of rain is expected to fall with the highest amounts over eastern Upper Michigan and near the Straits. Given all the recent rain, there could be localized flooding impacts for some areas, so stay tuned for later forecast updates.

Another storm will move into the Great Lakes Friday with another shot of rainfall. This continues the parade of rainfall-producing weather systems that have moved across our area over the past week. Just scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected this weekend.

Below are the storm risks for today and tomorrow – the enhanced risk is to our west.  The day three (Friday) outlook has the slight risk area right over Michigan.

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