Here we are – another Wednesday and time for our weekly weather history post for Michigan.
1952: Hail covered the ground like snow in Cascade Township, near Grand Rapids.
1961: A tornado hit two miles north of Marne. One person was injured and three buildings were heavily damaged.
2006: Small tornadoes hit Caledonia in Kent County and Muir in Montcalm County. The Caledonia tornado did some roof damage to a storage facility and a barn. The Muir tornado caused no structural damage but took down some tree limbs.
1950: Smoke from Canadian forest fires gave the sun an eerie bluish cast and darkened the sky across western Michigan.
1961: Widespread, heavy rain causes some flooding across western Michigan. Record daily rainfall totals occur at Muskegon, Lansing and Grand Rapids. The 3.52 inches of rain at Grand Rapids is a record total for any day in September.
1951: A tornado killed one person and injured three others near Bitely in Newaygo County. The tornado destroyed a tavern, carrying steel beams from the roof about 70 yards.
1965: Wet snow mixes in with rain across parts of western Michigan for a very early taste of winter.
1998: The temperature hits a record high of 89 degrees at both Grand Rapids and Lansing. The warm weather fuels a severe weather outbreak across the region as a cold front arrives during the late afternoon. A severe thunderstorm produced softball-sized hail in Clare County which smashed skylights, dented automobiles, and damaged roofs and antennas. Damage was estimated at up to half a million dollars.
1942: Snowflakes fly across Lower Michigan as temperatures fall to the lower 30s and only rise into the 40s during the day.
2009: A microburst with winds up to 70 mph struck just northeast of Greenville in Montcalm County. About a dozen trees were downed and a travel trailer was tipped over.
A microburst is a localized column of sinking air (downdraft) within a thunderstorm and is usually less than or equal to 2.5 miles in diameter. Microbursts can cause extensive damage at the surface, and in some instances, can be life-threatening. There are two primary types of microbursts: 1) wet microbursts and 2) dry microbursts. Wet microbursts are accompanied by significant precipitation and are common in the Southeast during the summer months.
It all starts with the development of a thunderstorm and the water droplets/hailstones being suspended within the updraft. Sometimes an updraft is so strong it suspends large amounts of these droplets and hailstones in the upper portions of the thunderstorm. There are many factors that can lead to evaporational cooling (sinking air) and therefore weakening of the updraft. Once this occurs, it is no longer capable of holding the large core of rain/hail up in the thunderstorm. As a result, the core plummets to the ground. As it hits the ground it spreads out in all directions. The location in which the microburst first hits the ground experiences the highest winds and greatest damage.
1991: A record freeze hits western Michigan. Grand Rapids falls to 27 degrees, setting record lows for the date and month. Muskegon also hits 27 degrees, setting a record for that date and tying the monthly low. Lansing plunges to 22 degrees, tying the record low for the date set in 1893.
The microburst is like getting slammed by the hand of God – very scary – hats off to whoever took the photos….
There are chances of rain this morning and early afternoon, perhaps a storm though nothing severe is expected. Highs today will be in the low to mid 70s.
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