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April 2018 – The Michigan Weather Center
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Storm Chasing

I have a 14 year old 4×4 truck I am getting back into shape for the possibility of storm chasing this year.  I have had it for quite some time and just as us humans it has had some health issues over the past year.  I have put $3000 into the thing over the past […]

Types of Tornadoes

Tornadoes come from mainly two types of thunderstorms: supercell and non-supercell. Tornadoes that come from a supercell thunderstorm are the most common, and often the most dangerous. A rotating updraft is a key to the development of a supercell, and eventually a tornado. There are many ideas about how this rotation begins. One way a […]

Michigan Tornadoes

As part of this weekends series on tornadoes here is some information on some of the bigger past Michigan tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service. Nearly 1,000 tornadoes touched down in the state from 1950-2012, making the state 20th in nation in the number of Tornadoes, In Michigan if you were to draw a […]

Tornado Basics

Today I begin a two part series on tornadoes – the conclusion will be on Sunday… What is a tornado? A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms […]


We have had rather dry conditions over the past couple weeks as most of the systems have been dropping rain south and west of us.  We have seen a lot sun though most of the days have been cool.  The grass is greening up and it is getting close be begging to be cut – […]

Weather History

April 22 1976: A tornado damaged several homes northeast of Burlington in Calhoun County. April 23 1968: A tornado struck Big Rapids in Mecosta County, injuring 11 people and doing half a million dollars in damage as it covered a path 10 miles long. 1986: Freezing weather prevails across Lower Michigan. Record cold temperatures for […]

Cloud Types

The following is cloud terminology according to NOAAs Cloud Atlas. In meteorology we divide clouds in 4 clouds families, which are in different heights of the troposphere: High level clouds (altitudes of 5-13 km), medium level clouds (2-7 km), low level clouds (0-2 km) and clouds with large vertical extending (0-13 km). These clouds families […]

How Clouds Form

Continuing with the cloud series we will look at how clouds form today. Clouds are made of water droplets or ice crystals that are so small and light they are able to stay in the air. But how does the water and ice that makes up clouds get into the sky? And why do different […]

Oktas – Measuring Cloud Cover

In meteorology, an okta is a unit of measurement used to describe the amount of cloud cover at any given location such as a weather station. Sky conditions are estimated in terms of how many eighths of the sky are covered in cloud, ranging from 0 oktas (completely clear sky) through to 8 oktas (completely […]

First 70° day next week?

  Will we see our first 70° next week? At this time the best chance will come Monday. If we do not reach 70 on Monday we will be in the running for the latest first 70° at Grand Rapids. In 1950 it did not reach 70 or better until May 3rd that year. Over […]