Strong Thunderstorm – Rockford, MI 6/8/15

After missing out on storms all day, I took a chance on a small rain shower with associated outflow boundary in the evening. This was part of a failed attempt that a storm made, trying to cross Lake Michigan. We were under the influence of a “lake shadow” most of the day. This also meant that our atmosphere hand’t been worked over by any convection, and there was still some instability around. I was on my way westward to pick up a boat I found on Craigslist for fishing, and on my way there, this once small shower, turned into a full fledged thunderstorm. Though this storm never became severe, it was still a strong storm, packing strong wind gusts, small hail, heavy rainfall and lightning. The structure wasn’t half bad either! A nice treat for a day when I thought I wasn’t going to see anything. This storm quickly died after sunset. I chased it south a few miles into the Rockford, MI area. It was moving pretty fast, … Read More…

Severe Weather: Supercell, Hail Accumulation, Storm Damage

4/12/14 – Today was a day that had looked halfway decent on the computer models in regards to chances for storms for a few days prior to the event. As the time drew nearer, I began having some higher hopes that we’d see some pretty good storms around here. The WRF-NMM was being the most bullish, showing strong thunderstorms training across lower Michigan. As it would turn out, the WRF-NMM would come to be correct. Sometimes it’s that one, lone computer model that nails a forecast, while all of the others are out to lunch. Slowly but surely, the atmospheric parameters came together to create some great severe weather potential. The SPC had issued a 5% risk for hail and wind. 0% for tornadoes despite the somewhat favorable wind shear values which were conductive to a few rotating updrafts. One of which I was on. There are 3 sets of footage, so be sure to keep scrolling after viewing the first batch of media. Storm #1: The Supercell The first … Read More…

Structure Fire 3/5/14

GREENVILLE, MI – On the evening of March 5, 2014, I heard two fire trucks responding to a structure fire call west on M-57 from Greenville. I went down there to document the situation. As I drove by the house, I could see thick smoke billowing out of all the windows, doors, eaves, and more. I talked to a firefighter there, and he said it was best for me to back away, due to the risk of explosions. Fuel oil specifically was mentioned, I assume there must have been a tank nearby which had a risk of rupturing. I moved a safe distance down the road, and out of the way, but still where I could get a good angle on the situation. The smoke billowed furiously, even brought visibility on the road to near 0 at times. The call was made to close a portion of M-57 in the 6PM hour, and reroute traffic southward. Smoke was still billowing, although to a lesser extent, when I left the scene … Read More…