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Portage Tornado

It seems we are seeing tornados hitting larger population centers more often.  With our growing population, there is a greater chance of the destruction of property.  I saw a statistic that in 1800 80% of our population were farmers.  By 1900 it was half of that.  Today 2% of our population are farmers which feeds 98% of the rest of us.  Most people live in large suburban areas, small towns, and large cities.  Luckily we have better weather forecasting and Doppler radar to inform people of hazardous weather in advance which greatly cuts down on loss of life and injuries though the loss of personal property and businesses is enormous.

Portage Tornado

The Portage, MI EF-2 tornado was on the ground for 20 minutes and the path spanned 11 miles!

NWS Forecast

Light rain will be spreading into southern Lower Michigan today, while northern areas stay mostly dry. Another chance of rain comes Friday night followed by a cool Canadian air mass with scattered frost possible Saturday night.

A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 60. East wind 10 to 14 mph.
A 30 percent chance of showers before 2 am. Mostly cloudy, with a low of around 43. Northeast wind 6 to 8 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 63. North wind 6 to 10 mph.
Friday Night
Showers are likely, mainly after 2 am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 46. West wind 5 to 7 mph becoming light and variable. The chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch possible.
Showers are likely, mainly before 8 am. Partly sunny, with a high near 61. Northwest wind 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60%.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low of around 42.
Sunny, with a high near 71.
Sunday Night
A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2 am. Partly cloudy, with a low of around 53.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 73.
Monday Night
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low of around 52.
A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 72.
Tuesday Night
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.
A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 74.

Weather History

1923: A very late-season winter storm dropped up to a foot of snow across Lower Michigan. Records were set for May snowfall at many places including Lansing with 11.5 inches, Grand Rapids with 5.5 inches, and Detroit with 6 inches.

1927: About 40 farm buildings are damaged or destroyed as a tornado moves from near Loomis in Isabella County, across southeast Clare County and into Gladwin County. Another tornado destroyed two barns and damaged two homes three miles west of Walker.

On May 9, 1923, a late-season snowstorm pounded Southeast Michigan. Six inches of snow was recorded in Detroit, with areas around Flint and Saginaw receiving around a foot! Widespread damage was also reported with trees and power lines snapping under the heavy wet snow.

Also on May 9, 2000, Plymouth received 1.75-inch hail at 7:05 pm and then had winds at 69 mph at 7:33 pm, which resulted in $135,000 in property damage.

1918: An F4 tornado moved across Floyd, Chickasaw, and Winneshiek Counties in northeast Iowa from two miles north of Pearl Rock to Calmar. Two people died east of Calmar when the tornado was a mile wide. Losses in and near Calmar totaled $250,000. Overall, this tornado killed seven people and injured 15 others.

1933: An estimated F4 tornado moved through Monroe, Cumberland, and Russell Counties in Kentucky along a 60-mile path. The town of Tompkinsville, KY was the hardest hit with 18 people killed. Overall, 36 people lost their lives. Click HERE for more information from the NWS Office in Louisville, Kentucky.

1966: Record snows fell in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, including 3.1 inches at Pittsburgh and 5.4 inches at Youngstown Ohio. Snow also extended across parts of New York State with eight inches reported in the southern Adirondacks.

1990: The 1990 Machilipatnam Cyclone was the worst disaster to affect Southern India since the 1977 Andhra Pradesh cyclone. This category four on the Saffir-Simpson scale had a severe impact on India, with over 967 people reported having been killed. Over 100,000 animals also died in the cyclone with the total cost of damages to crops estimated at over $600 million (1990 USD).

1995: An F3 tornado produced $10 million in damages along its 40-mile path across central Illinois. The tornado caused significant damage in Cantrall where three homes were destroyed, 10 had significant damage, and 11 had minor damage. The roof and interior of a grade school suffered extensive damage. The tornado passed about 2 miles southeast of the new NWS Office in Lincoln, Illinois.

Forecast Discussion

- Cooler Temperatures and a Chance of Showers Today

A low pressure center in the lower levels of the atmosphere will
move across the Ohio river valley region today while a positively
tilted upper level trough sinks south over Michigan from northern
Ontario. East to northeasterly winds will prevail with mostly cloudy
skies. Today will be the start of a few days of cooler than normal

Trends have continued to reduce the probability of precip throughout
the day and also decrease the rain totals over much of the area. The
rain associated with the Ohio valley low may stay mainly south of I-
96 with the heavier amounts south of I-94. The HREF 24 hours ago was
bullish on 0.5 to 1.0 inch QPF over much of the area, but now 0.5
seems unlikely for most while parts of central Michigan may stay
dry. The temperature forecast today has been nudged up slightly,
particularly northwest of Grand Rapids where it may reach the mid
60s. Amid the northeast winds, there may be low topped surface-based
convective showers developing afternoon-evening between Reed City,
Ludington, and Muskegon.

Light winds and clearing skies tonight may let temperatures dip into
the 30s with a chance of frost in the highlands of interior north-
central Michigan, Leota-Tustin area and north.

- Possible Shower/Storm Saturday and Frost Saturday Night

Shortwave trough arrives Friday night with a clipper-type low
bringing showers and a few thunderstorms lingering into the
afternoon given the steeper lapse rates. Cool air in northerly flow
on the back side of the sfc low results in low temperatures in the
upper 30s to lower 40s Saturday night with scattered frost potential
in the colder outlying areas.

- Low Confidence in Forecast Details Next Week

Shortwave ridging on Sunday eventually gives way to another trough
Monday with some showers and a few thunderstorms possible along a
cold front. There continues to be low confidence with forecast
details by the middle of next week as the GFS goes out of phase with
the Euro and GEM. There continues to be a general signal for a
longwave trough forming across the central/eastern CONUS by late in
the week which could bring some showers and storms by Thursday.
newest oldest
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

The tornado in Cass County was a half mile wide. That’s insane. Rated EF-1.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

14 consecutive days of tornado reports in the US…and counting.


That is Crazy too!!!


The official H/L yesterday at Grand Rapids was 73/50 there was a reported 0.01” of rainfall the sun was out 100% of the possible time. The highest wind speed was 24 MPH out of the W. For today the average H/L is 67/46 the record high of 88 was set in 1896 and 1930 the record low of 23 was set in 1947. The most rainfall of 4.10” fell in 1956 the record snowfall of 5.5” fell in 1923 that is also the record snowfall for the month of May. Last year the H/L was 73/44.


The overnight low here in MBY was 52. At the current time it is 53 with clouds moving in from the SW.