Radar Images of Sun. Night Storm

July 7th, 2014 at 2:38 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

velocity 0  velocity 1 velocity 2 velocity 3  Kyle Underwood saved these velocity scans during the wind event in Wyoming/Kentwood.  Click on the images to enlarge.  You can see US 131 with cross streets top to bottom – 28th St., 44th St., 54th/52nd with the little jog in the road just east of Division and it says “Kentwood”, 68th St. (Cutlerville) and 84th, which goes out to Byron Center.  You can see the bright green area and the red just north – we’re looking at 80-100 mph winds close to ground level.  Both Storm Team 8 and the National Weather Service will be doing storm surveys.  Radar images will be one element in the survey, along with ground damage reports.  If you experienced the storm, leave a comment and let us know what you saw/heard…let us know how long the strong wind lasted, what direction the wind might have been from, if it was raining during the strong wind, which direction trees fell or debris was blown, any popping sensation in your ears and a description of the damage you witnessed.   From Mike Geukes – the last tornado in Kent Co. was 9/23/06 in Caledonia (by Broadmoor and the Big ‘Ol Fishhouse – golf carts got tossed around).  The last EF1 tornado was 5/21/01.  We had (if I remember right) 4 tornadoes just in Kent Co. that day and a dozen in Lower Michigan…one in Cooper Center was an EF2 if I recall right, one touched down in the York Creek Apts. in Comstock Park, one in Belmont, another down by Grandville.  We’ll have team coverage throughout the day on 24-Hour News 8.  I have a couple of meetings, then I’m working the evening shift.  I’ll update the blog when I can.

78 Responses to “Radar Images of Sun. Night Storm”

  1. Jack says:

    On July 7 in Southwest Lower Michigan…

    Lower Michigan is in the midst of another heat wave as the hot and dry summer of 1988 continues. Temperatures peak at 100 degrees on the 6th at Lansing andGrand Rapids, followed by a record high of 98 degrees on the 7th at Grand Rapids.
    Tornadoes strike across southern Lower Michigan. A tornado damaged about 20 homes near Highland in Oakland County. More damage occurred near Okemos in Ingham County and a home and some outbuildings were damaged as a tornado moved northeast of Rockford in Kent County. A tornado also briefly touched down northwest of Plainwell in Allegan County but did no damage. Stay CUEDDD….. ;-)

  2. Cort S. says:

    I’ll have to get you guys a velocity color table that shows gray for near-zero velocities and makes the higher velocities pop out better. It looks quite reasonable in storm-relative, with rotational convergence showing up best from 0222-0227 Z.

  3. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

    I got over 2″ of rain here,and it looks like i was just south of where they really go nailed with rain. Then again,i was north of where they really got hammered by the tornado/micro down burst. Needed the rain,but not the wind,so i consider myself very lucky. More small storms popping up now west and NW of us headed this way.Will they get bigger and gain strength or not??

  4. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

    Not to take away from this storm,but could someone post the storm velocity scans from the June 18th storm? Looking at maybe 1:15pm to 1:30pm ish NE of Ada and NW of Lowell,MI. Just curious what it may show. I am sure it was just straight line winds,but this one area must have had a micro down burst over 80 MPH. Thanks

    1. Cort S. says:

      I’ll look that up for you later today. Keep checking.

      1. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

        Thanks Cort!

      2. HomeschoolMama(Vergennes Twp) says:

        I would be interested in those as well since our property sustained damage when we had several trees blow over on our home and shed and fence. Still working through the insurance mess! I would love to know if it was a microburst/downburst/small tornado that hit us. We were all home and watched the trees go over. Thanks Cort. I rarely post but I read the blog regularly.

      3. Cort S. says:

        Vincent and HomeschoolMama,

        Here are the radar images from June 18, from 1:13 to 1:35 pm.


        The line appeared to bow out substantially from Forest Hills to Lowell, indicating strong straight-line winds likely. On the north end of the bow (several miles north of Forest Hills and Lowell), there is a bit of a kink, which tends to be a suspicious area for tornado spin-ups in storms like these. However, velocity scans show possible rotation (if not just simply cyclonic shear along the gust front) broad enough to be considered non-tornadic… there is enough zero velocity separating the red and the green to keep me from jumping at a tornado. Regardless, that may have been an area of enhanced local wind damage. At that distance from the radar, the beam is scanning roughly 500-700 feet above ground.

        1. Cort S. says:

          I should note that that velocity data is Base, not Storm-Relative. Also, in the 1:35 pm scan, you can see how there is green closer to the radar (just northeast of Forest Hills), with red just to the northeast of that, farther from the radar. This indicates divergence, which is more likely a sign of winds spreading out from a microburst (rather than winds converging into a tornado).

        2. HomeschoolMama(Vergennes Twp) says:

          (Saw your reply in the other thread first but I wanted to reply here too so you know I saw it and appreciated it)
          Thank you so much for these! I am going to save them with our damage photos for when the kids get older to see. I was racing home to beat the storm and took a picture of the storm moving in on my phone when we turned on our dirt road. EXIF data on my pic said that was 1:21pm. Started to rain after we got into the garage, about 4 min later, and then approx 10 min after that our trees blew over. That is consistent with your last image 1:35pm in that set. Looking at the map that area that you speak of in your comment below [the green] is right on top of our property! So maybe we experienced a microburst then? Thank you so much for posting these!

        3. HomeschoolMama(Vergennes Twp) says:

          One more thing, can you estimate the wind speed in that area of divergence from these scans? Or is that estimated based on damage reports? I am just really curious how high those winds were near the ground. Thanks again!

  5. Curt (N Montcalm) says:

    Over 4 and 1/2 inches of rain in Lakeview (Northern Montcalm county)

  6. Barry in Zeeland says:

    Kind of odd storms last night. We got home around 7, and the air sure felt thick, yet nothing on radar and no watches out. Gave the kids the OK to go out for a bike ride, not 10 minutes later it was lightning and downpouring out. Guess I should have trusted how it “felt” out instead of relying on weather tech that showed nothing.

  7. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    No storms, eh Fixxxer?

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      He said no severe weather at 10pm, around the time the rotation was spinning up.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Perfect and he has been known to say no snowstorms while we are getting hammered with COLD and SNOW and BLIZZARD conditions! Totally ignorant!

  8. Kevin (Marshall) says:

    Training storms over Calhoun Co. Surprised there are no flood warnings.

  9. There is half a forest completely missing at m6 and Clyde Park in Byron Township. The only part left of the forest is the sheared trunks

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      That was probably all that was left from the drecho in the 90′s… That area was flattened back then, pre m-6 of course.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        Kyle just posted his pictures – it’s all “fresh” damage.

        1. DF (EGR) says:

          I meant those were the trees that survived back then, gone now :)

  10. DF (EGR) says:

    My inlaws house in Kentwood is in bad shape… Four huge trees on it. Classic fixxxxxxx……

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      fixxxer said no storms, so those 90 to 100 MPH winds and all of that rain thunder and lightning must not have been a storm! Remember fixxxer is never wrong (at least in his mind). Each time fixxxer opens his mouth he confirms his total ignorance!

      1. Barry in Zeeland says:

        And you should talk? You post way more than anyone else here the same mindless thing everyday. Take a look back on every post you made in June about how we were always running below norm on temps, yet the month ends and only like 5 out of 30 days actually were. Not a very good average on your part.

        1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

          He also said this would be the year without a summer. GR would see temps only in the 60′s and 70′s with very few 80′s. It’s been WARM this summer. Amazing since he said we are in a mini ice age. How can this be? Imagine that.

        2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          Thank you!

        3. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          Hey fixxxer aka Rodey that is the best that you can come up with after your total fail. You are even more ignorant that I realized. However, thanks for listening! I appreciate your unwavering support!

        4. Rodey (Rockford) says:

          Thanks for paying attention you little twit and also for caring enough to comment. I love it. Who knew? Always glad to set you straight with the real FACTS. imagine that. Get used to it.

  11. Jason(Hudsonille) says:

    Saw the funnel cloud from M6 just before 10:30 while traveling from the east side of the state back home. My wife and I could see electrical transformer boxes blowing that caused bright blue explosions just under the funnel cloud! We could clearly see it as the sky was lit up by intense lighting. We thought is was definitely a tornado but when we turn to radio 1300 we heard absolutely nothing about so we thought we were crazy! Glad my 3 kids were sound asleep in the back seat!

    1. Sandy (Hudsonville) says:

      Glad you made it home safe. We saw rotation looking at the sky just before it all happened. Some clouds going east some going north all at the same time. Saw this from our porch.

    2. Heather says:

      We live near 52nd and Kalamazoo. We were seeing all kinds of bright blue lightning everywhere – at first just low on the horizon, so I thought it must be damage to the electrical grid, but then some of it appeared to come from above our house, too. I’ve never seen anything like it – bright, aquamarine blue. It went on and on. Does anyone know if it was all related to storm damage, or if lightning can be brilliant teal?

  12. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Those were some good storms last night! Lasted for hours. Pretty heavy wind, rain, lots of lightning, and hail too.

    Poor Dave Rexroth, chief meteorologist at WXYZ:


  13. INDY says:

    Yeaaa don’t listen to fixer when it comes to severe storms on Bills Blog!! That’s a weather fact!! fixer called Hurricane Sandy a little storm!! On my way to Kentwood to look at the damage!! Be safe !!! INDYY!!!

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:


  14. M6 and Clyde Park here in Byron Center looks very bad right now. Just rode my bike up there to look at the flattened forest. If this does turn out to be a tornado this is no doubt the touch down spot.

    I will have pics soon so stay cued.

  15. Kevin(Rockford) says:

    Just some rain and good light show here. .93 for a total

  16. I know these picture posts are one after another, but when I bunch them all in one it says awaiting moderation so I need to do them all seperatly.

    One final pic: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=dhc1k&s=8#.U7qR1JRdWvE

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      Nice pics Kyle.

    2. Barry in Zeeland says:

      Thanks Kyle! That’s looks crazy, the trees are just snapped off halfway up the trunks.

    3. GunLakeDeb says:

      Great pictures, Kyle!!

      My friend just called it an EF-1, I’ll have to ask where she heard that? The Weather Channel just mentioned the damage but said NWS is still making a determination. *IF* this turns out to be a tornado – where was the warning? Too close to the airport to get a good “read” although the velocity scans DO look suspicious….

  17. Bernie (At da Lakeshore) says:

    I got just enough rain to wet the dust down. No lightning, no high winds.

  18. GunLakeDeb says:

    We eventually got just over .6″ of rain – but that was quite the light show going on to the north all night.

    Funny story: I have a year-old dog who was terrified a year ago by someone shooting a “mortar round” about 100′ from our house. So he’s been spooky about fireworks ever since…. the last several days he’s not wanted to go outside after dark due to fireworks. But last night, with the strobe-like lightning, he stood next to me for probably 10 minutes, watching the sky, until he finally determined it was “only” a nice safe thunderstorm, then he trotted off and went potty…LOL!

  19. karlac616 says:

    Many are wondering how this all came up without any type of warning. Are the velocity scans not a part of the detection process? Should they be? (Not trying to be critical…just curious.)

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      It is amazing… I saw the rotation on the velocity last night but just assumed it was nothing since the NWS seemed to not care. I actually looked after kentwoodchicken joked about rotation, good timing on his part.

  20. DF (EGR) says:

    Just saw a pic of my inlaws… Incredible damage from the huge trees. No way their house is going to be lived in for a long time.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Sorry, DF :-( Glad they’re OK; houses can be rebuilt.

  21. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Many witnesses are saying they saw the tornado touch down, has the NWS figured out yet whether this is a tornado or straight line winds? Also by the pictures Kyle posted there is no doubt, that was a tornado.

    1. Tom says:

      Wood tv just scrolled on bottom of screen that Kyle Underwood surveyed damage and says that all indications point to a tornado-we will see what the NWS says.

  22. Dave says:

    I live in Kentwood on Jonfield Ave SE. The strong winds appeared to come out of the north. All the debris was blown to the south. Looks like all the real the bad stuff just missed us.

  23. Chrispy (Byron Center) says:

    Unfortunately I was not watching the storm at that moment, but we live just west and south of there (72nd and Ivanrest) and the electric was hopping for about 2 minutes right at hat time (flicker, flicker, flicker, then out, then back on). No damage at our house except some of trash in our yard.
    I WAS confused by the TS warning west of us (about 9pm) then nothing when it went over us and then back to a TS warning after it passed us.

  24. Dave says:

    NWS GRR has a loop of both radar reflectivity and velocity data.


    You can see the rotation on the velocity loop.

    Question: Last night when Kyle first showed the still photo of the velocity data, and mentioned the brighter green area indicates wind speeds approx. 90mph, he also qualified it being “300 ft off the ground”. Is that due to the tilt of the radar?

    Also, if there’s rotation 300 feet in the air, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a tornado is on the ground, correct?

    1. Cort S. says:

      Re: 300 ft off the ground (or “above radar level”)…

      Yes, due to the 0.5 degree tilt of the antenna above horizontal. Plus throw in a little bit of earth’s curvature (at greater distances). This number is just an estimation that assumes typical atmospheric conditions that don’t abnormally refract the radar beam, and assumes a smoothly curved earth with no local variation.

      That said, scanning roughly 300 feet above radar level is about as close to ground truth as a radar could get.

  25. GunLakeDeb says:

    After reading all the comments on the previous post, after the high winds went through – just a few things I remember being told in various Spotter classes (and Cort touched on this, too):

    Michigan doesn’t generally get the picture-pretty “classic” tornadoes like those seen in the Plains. Ours are usually raggedy-looking; they pop up, then dissipate quickly. In other words, difficult to warn. And if you tornado-warn too often for rotation – you’ll have everyone yelling “FAIL!” and ignoring verified warnings.

    Cort touched on something interesting: warning for the level of threat! Because it doesn’t really matter if your house gets hit by 90 mph straight winds or a weak tornado – either way, it’s dangerous. IMO, the “average person” thinks some vivid lightning, loud thunder, some wind and rain is a “severe thunderstorm” – so they don’t take those warnings too seriously. I see it happen here on the lake, time and time again; where the idiot boater is racing for shelter in the teeth of a fierce storm that was preceded by lightning, thunder; and a classic “squall line” shelf cloud…

    IMO, if we warned for threat levels, there might not be the confusion regarding sounding sirens for derechos or very strong severe storms, for examples? (My understanding is that only tornadoes get sirens) And then perhaps last night’s “storm” – tornado or downburst – might have warranted sirens??

    1. Chrispy (Byron Center) says:

      I’m fine with the T-Storm warning for last nights storm. I think that was probably the right call, especially with the possible tornadoes comment. Why did the initial warning for Ottawa expire when the storm entered Kent and then a new one re-issue for SE Kent after the storm had passed SW Kent where the storm was obviously just as strong and gaining strength. I was led to believe the storm was weakening which was not the case.

  26. kevin. w says:

    I thought I would throw this out there for anyone wanting to read this and I know how this is going to stir the pot pretty good but not trying to. This is from the NWS Detroit: UPPER LEVEL TROUGH/COLD POOL WILL SLOWLY WORK EAST ON THURSDAY…LONG TERM…




    Basing it on a pattern of this from the winter on today’s O0z run:

    And on the long range 8-14 day CPC run: http://old.ecmwf.int/products/forecasts/d/charts/medium/deterministic/msl_uv850_z500!Geopotential%20500%20hPa%20and%20Temperature%20at%20850%20hPa!240!North%20America!pop!od!oper!public_plots!2014050212!!/

    And on the Monthly run: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day/


      1. Tom says:

        Kevin-thanks! That will just get Rocky all fired up!

        1. Tom says:

          I TOLD YOU!!

        2. kevin. w says:

          Well I’m not trying to start something Tom but I think we all knew it wasn’t going to be a very hot summer but we still have August/September. Personally I think will have 2 90 degree days for the whole summer, but I’m not putting my eggs in one basket for this coming winter. I’ll check back next week sometime once I get into Canada.

        3. Tom says:

          Most of us respect your knowledge, but while your enjoying Canada, we have to put up with the Rocky & Bullwinkle show! Have a great time!!

      2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Nothing better – keep the below normal temperatures Rocking baby!

        1. Tom says:

          WHO CARES!!!! We will take whatever mother nature gives us and be happy since we can’t control it anyway!

        2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          What a concept. Thanks for sharing that ground breaking commentary!

  27. arcturus says:

    Pieces of insulation in my side yard near 44th and Breton.

  28. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Get ready for a month of below normal temperatures! This is perfect timing, because this is generally the hottest time of the year and guess what there are still NO 90′s in sight! Imagine that! This could lead us right into another record breaking WINTER! Bring it!

  29. Darlene Yasick says:

    Think what everyone is confused by was the type of warning. Six o’clock news seemed to downplay the coming storms. Then the warning was for severe thunderstorms which could possibly spawn tornados. So why wasn’t it issued as a tornado watch ? What is the difference in the two alerts ? Isn’t that what a tornado watch says, that there is a possibility of a tornado. Think people would be more cautious with a mention of the word in the alert

    1. Cort S. says:

      A tornado watch means that conditions over a large area are favorable for the development of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes (and other severe weather). It doesn’t mean that storms are actually happening. A warning is for a specific storm that is actually happening at that moment.

  30. Katie in Kentwood says:

    I didn’t exactly experience it, but it did hit right up the street from me. I live on Christie Ave right near 52nd and Eastern. If you go to the top of my street and cross Eastern theres damage everywhere. Trees and power lines down all over the place, blocking roads, etc. There are smashed cars and lots of roof damage. The tops of trees are snapped and stripped bare. I really wish I could assist with cleanup today but I have to work. Last night during the storm the power kept flickering, then my sister and I were looking out the window and the wind suddenly picked up super strong, so we closed the door and ran inside. I had no idea it was a (possible) tornado right up the street! Our power is still out.

  31. fixxxer says:

    Reminds me of 2009 this summer, temp wise.

  32. on the Grand says:

    We got heavy rain, the river is above the normal summer level, which is wonderful. I love the cooler summers, windows open at nite, no AC, sunny days, there is greenery everywhere one looks and the electrical bill is low. So if July can follow the same path as June I will be a happy camper.

  33. Julie says:

    I was a passenger as my husband was driving south on 131, beginning the exit to get onto M-6, at around 10:20 p.m. or so (before 10:30), when my ears started to feel a lot of pressure. Then, the wind started to blow very hard, and he had to stop the car on the exit at the fork where one goes either east or west. I did not see a tornado, but the car just shook, and it felt as if the wind could pick it right up. It lasted for about a minute or less. My ears did not pop, but did bother me for several minutes more, even though the original pressure was gone.

  34. Chris says:

    Storm forecasting is a joke and Storm Team 8 is an even larger joke. The weather station that claims to be “always tracking, always alerting” did neither for one of the most severe summer weather in 15 years.

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