Severe weather in West Michigan

posted in: Storm Chasing | 0
Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: July 2, 2008
Chase Partners:
Solo

Chasers Encountered:
None

Miles Logged: 407
States Chased: MI
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

I had been watching the weather for a few days and was expecting at least some sort of Severe Weather on Wednesday. I was afraid I might be disappointed. Disappointed I was not as the Lower Peninsula of Michigan was rocked with Heavy Rain, High Winds and Hail including a TON of hail in Charlotte, MI.

I started the day waking up late since I had been off of work for almost a week. Within an hour of being awake, I was still liking parameters and storms were firing in WI. The Storm Prediction Center placed Lower MI under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 500pm EDT.

I loaded up the truck and headed north. Unfortunately it took me almost 30 minutes just to get out of town after 4 detours, a funeral procession and an ambulance among other things slowing me down. I went up 127 to M-46 and then west to 131. A very strong line had formed from about Howard City to just west of Saugatuck. I headed US131 south towards Grand Rapids since the strongest part of the line appeared to be there.

I was blasted with 70 MPH winds just north of Grand Rapids and had debris flying through the air. I also encountered 1 inch hail just north of Grand Rapids.

I headed down towards Grandville and observed a Wall Cloud. I eventually headed south towards Byron Center where I had more 1 inch hail. I then headed south to Plainwell, MI and got some food, then headed back up towards Allegan and Hamilton, MI to intercept another line and cell coming in off the lake. I ended up encountering 50 or so MPH winds.

I then headed down a road which turned into a dirt road and then into a two track. I went through many puddles and was scared to stop and turn around in fear that I would end up stuck period. I even went through a 3foot deep puddle. Shortly thereafter I came across a tree down across the road and had to make a 20-point turn to get turned back the other way and go through it all again.

Eventually I got out of Allegan County, and went to South Haven to intercept the cell coming off the lake. Most of the storms were losing punch at this point so I headed home after a bit of driving along the lakeshore.

On the way home, I passed a tree down across Western Interstate 94 near Galesburg, MI. I stopped for some video then headed home.