As of 9:45 AM Monday, we are up to 28 tornadoes, 280 reports of wind damage (measured to 74 mph) and 193 reports of large hail up to 3″ in diameter. Oklahoma was hard hit, with one fatality at Dale OK and at least 21 injuries in OK. Sixteen counties in OK have been declared disaster areas. Tornadoes crossed both I-35 and I-40, where a truck was left dangling over an overpass. Tornado Watches stretched from Lake Superior in NW Wisconsin to the Texas border. Here’s video of the destroyed mobile home park near Shawnee. Damage in Carney OK. Reports of injuries there. Pictures from KFOR in Oklahoma City
Tornado in Kansas Sat. PM – pic. from KSN. The early Sunday AM severe weather count from Saturday: 11 tornadoes, 46 reports of wind damage and 102 reports of large hail (up to tennis-ball size. Nine states had at least one severe weather report with the largest concentration in the High Plains from the Dakotas to North Texas. Here’s updated SPC severe reports. Here’s video of the Rozel KS tornado. Here’s some pics. A policeman was injured by debris at Garfield OK. 4″ of rain fell near /Dupree SD. 85 mph winds were reported at Okreek SD.
Model update…the NAM caribou gives G.R. highs of 83 the next couple days. The GFS caribou goes to low 80s Sun. and 85-86 on Monday. It also takes low temperatures down to the mid-upper 30s next Sat. and Sun. AM – both days are partly-mostly sunny and dry, but too cool for most people for getting wet at the lake or pool.
Also, it looks like it’ll be the latest ice break-up on record at Nenana, Alaska. The only other year when the ice lasted this long was 1964. The contest goes back to 1917! The tripod at the link is bigger than it looks in the picture and it’s 300 feet offshore. The ice there was actually 2″ thicker on April 25 than it was on April 1…that’s incredible. What’s also incredible is the money! The jackpot last year was $350,000. Speaking of jackpots, I heard that 80% of the possible combination of numbers were picked in the Powerball drawing.
Today (May 18) is the 33rd anniversary of the biggest (and there were a handful) explosion of Mt. St. Helens, the last big volcano in the Lower 48 states. The picture on the left is the mountain before the explosion (center). The image on the right is damage to trees. The explosion that occurred on May 18th, 1980 at 8:32 AM local time destroyed 4 BILLION board feet of timber, enough to build 300,000 homes. The initial blast-thrust was 300 mph. According to the USGS, the landslide caused by the collapse of the northern slope of Mount Saint Helens was the largest debris avalanche on Earth in recorded history. Within 15 minutes ash was blown into the stratosphere to a height of 80,000 feet. The ash cloud passed over Grand Rapids two days later (I have a slide I took of the ash cloud, which looked like a thick, uniform cirrus cloud layer) and circled the globe in 15 days. Ash accumulation was 10″ deep ten miles from the volcano and 1″ deep sixty miles from the volcano.The height of the mountain was reduced by 1,314 feet. The blast began with a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. Fifty-seven people were killed that day, 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway and 185 miles of roads were destroyed. Here’s more facts – more pictures, a link to the National Monument website, and the Wikipedia article.
Volcanoes have become quite active in the last few weeks. A number of volcanoes are erupting right now, including the Pavlof volcano in Alaska. The plume from Pavlof rose to approximately 20,000 above sea level and have created a diffuse plume trailing 100 miles downwind. Popocatepetl in Mexico has erupted. Ash fell in three villages. Government officials have raised the threat level from one to three (third highest rank). Four people were killed as Mt. Mayon in the Philippines erupted without warning on May 7th. Shiveluch in far east Russia produced an ash cloud that rose 15,000 fee. The Stromboli volcano remains active in Italy. Observers spotted a small flow of lava from the volcano’s northeast crater. We still have the more prominent erupting volcanoes like Mt. Etna in Italy and Kilauea in Hawaii.
Saturday from noon to 2 PM, Terri DeBoer, Matt Kirkwood and me were in the studios of WOOD radio (1300 AM and 106.9 PM) for our annual weather call-in show. The call-in number was 616-774-2424. Check out the WOOD radio facebook page. You can listen for the Storm Team 8 Forecast on WOOD radio through iHeart Radio.
Sat. AM – Slight chance of a sprinkle/light shower. The clouds should hold for the AM and then slowly break up around mid-late afternoon with temperatures reaching the mid-upper 70s when the sun comes out. Sunday and Monday shoule be warm days with highs in the low-mid 80s. We’ll have a chance of showers and thundershowers from Monday PM thru Thursday with perhaps an inch of rain over that time. The timing on that looks right for most of us, with the rain clearing out to give us a mild and pleasant Memorial Day Weekend. Here’s the camera at Krupp’s Resort at Twin Lakes…the last little tiny big of snow to the left of the thermometer should melt off tonight. The lake has finally thawed out. Check out the MODIS picture of Lake Superior from 5/17 PM (Fri.). You can still see some ice in Black Bay and Nipigon Bay.
For current Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the WOOD lightning tracker and U.S. lightning, the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures and the HPC snowfall predictions. Here’s NAM model snowfall thru 84 hours, the GFS snowfall thru 120 hours.
Lake Michigan sunset at Duck Lake – from Matt Miller at ReportIt. Check it out full screen. The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron was unchanged in the last week. We’ve had only 0.58″ of rain so far this month in G.R. and the river levels have come down. The Grand River in Grand Rapids is still a little above average (5600 cfs vs mean of 5280 cfs). The Muskegon River looks to be near average and the Kalamazoo River at New Richmond is a little below average flow now. Lake Michigan is 7″ higher than one month ago and 5″ below the level of one year ago. It’s still 22″ below the May average level, but 7″ higher than it was in May 1964. Lake Superior gained an inch in the last week (mainly from snowmelt). It’s also 7″ higher than one month ago, but is now 2″ higher than it was one year ago. It’s still 10″ below the century average for May. Lake Erie is only up 1″ in the last month. It’s 7″ lower than one year ago and 8″ below the century average. Lake Ontario is up 5″ in the last month, down 2″ in the last year and is now 5″ below the century average. Also: Check out the MODIS Lake Superior picture from yesterday (Thurs.). You can STILL see several places in the Porcupine Mts. and the Keweenaw Peninsula where there is snow on the ground! Lake Nipigon still has an ice cover. Here’s the Lake Michigan picture, the land has really greened up in the last couple weeks. Here’s a picture of the large forest fire burning in far NW Wisconsin.
Model update: The European keeps us dry until next Monday PM. Then we get showers/t-showers (not all day rains) from Monday PM thru Thursday with a total of 2.72″ for G.R. from Monday PM thru Thurs. Evening. The GFS (caribou) has 1.97″.
Oh, one more thing. I got a call from near Stanton about a large dust devil that knocked shingles off their house, barn and garage. Thurs. was a perfect day for dust devils…nearly calm winds…high sunshine…low relative humidity. I bet there were quite a few dust devils in Lower Michigan yesterday.
The main type of mosquito plaguing us right now is the Aedes mosquito. They are a floodplain mosquito and their population has exploded after the April flood. Their eggs can lay dormant for 7 years, waiting for the next flood. Another bad trait of the Aedes mosquito is that they like to bite in the daytime. Some mosquitoes are more active in the evening and at night. The Aedes mosquito will bother you morning, noon and night. This crop may be around for another 2-3 weeks. Watch us tonight for a story on the pesky critters. One piece of good news…the Aedes mosquito does not carry the West Nile Virus. Leave a comment and let us know how bad or not so bad are the mosquitoes where you are. We had a lot of rain in April and there’s still a decent amount of standing water around for them to breed.
Thursday, Kyle and I were at the Meijer on 28th St. in Cascade (just east of I-96) from 4 – 7 PM. Thanks to everyone who came into get a weather alert radio. Meijer is running the promotion all week. You get $5 off the regular price (so $29.99). Look in the electronics dept. of your local Meijer store. They are like smoke alarms and warn you when severe weather is coming. You can program them to just the county you live in or for several counties (for instance, it you live at the west edge of Kent Co., you’ll probably want to set the alarm to go off for both Kent and Ottawa Counties. You can also pick the type of warning. Everyone will want to be warned for a tornado warning for your area, but you probably won’t want the alarm to go off in the middle of the night for a Fog Advisory.
Friday, I’ll be on WOOD radio at or shortly after 9:10 AM. That’s 1300 AM and 106.9 FM and on Saturday May 18, Storm Team 8 is partnering with WOOD Radio 1300AM and 106.9 FM to answer your severe weather questions live. Storm Team 8 Chief Meteorologist Bill Steffen and 24 Hour News 8 Daybreak meteorologists Terri DeBoer and Matt Kirkwood will be at the WOOD Radio studios for our special severe weather radio show from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. We invite you to join us to get your questions answered live on the radio.
I was at Rosewood School in Jenison Thursday for a walk-a-thon. The kids raised over $16,000 for the school. They had some nifty prizes for the kids – including an I-Pad and a new bicycle. The school is on Tyler St.
The tornado that hit south of Granbury, Texas has been rated EF4 with winds of at least 166 mph. The official death toll is 6 at 1:45 pm EDT Thurs. “About 50 people were taken to a Granbury hospital and two were transferred to a hospital in Fort Worth.” Look at this damage. Buildings destroyed. New video here of the tornado across Lake Granbury. Hardest hit is the Lake Granbury area west-southwest of Fort Worth. “As many as 100 people have been injured by the twisters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area”, said MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokesman Matt Zavadsky. The preliminary count is that there were 10 tornadoes. At least 7 were injured in Cleburne TX. Granbury has a population of about 8,000. A tornado near Rio Vista was said to be “a mile wide”. Damage in Hood, Montague, Parker, Johnson and Wise Counties. Here’s Dallas radar. Here’s video of the Granbury Tornado forming. More tornado video here and here. Here’s photos. Hail up to softball-size has fallen. Here’s storm reports. Thunderstorm gusts to 80 mph were reported at Cleburne. Here’s coverage from WFAA (“It’s a scene of complete devastation in this neighborhood off Acton Highway near Granbury. Emergency personnel are going door-to-door trying to determine if anyone is trapped in damaged homes. Dozens of ambulances were staging nearby at a triage center to deal with as many as 100 injuries. ”
Thanks to Cort for noticing the heat burst that occurred in Wisconsin yesterday PM. Here’s the write up from the NWS in Milwaukee (Sullivan WI). A decent heat burst is a rare event and even rarer in this area (it would be more common in the High Plains). Our weather parameters were more like the High Plains yesterday PM with dry air near the ground and the instability well above ground (above 3,000 feet). The showers and thundershowers produced very little rain. In West Michigan, the most rain was 0.10″ at Hart. Rainfall amounts in Wisconsin were also meager: 0.02″ at Milwaukee and Sullivan and 0.01″ at Waukesha (where there was some damage). We had a “heat burst” here in W. Michigan as well. The wind came up to 38 mph in Holland (regional airport) and at S. Haven. The temperature at Holland went from 65 at 10:53 PM to 69 at 11:53 PM to 78 at 12:53 PM and peaked at 80 shortly after 2 AM. At S. Haven the temperature also jumped up to the upper 70s. The sun didn’t warm up the air at that time of night and it wasn’t air coming across Lake Michigan (the mid-lake buoy didn’t get past the mid 50s).
Also – injuries in the Texas tornadoes tonight.