Southwest Michigan/Northern Indiana Derecho

posted in: Storm Chasing | 0
Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: June 23, 2010
Chase Partners:
Aric Cylkowski, L.B. LaForce

Chasers Encountered:
None

Miles Logged: 530
States Chased: MI, IN
Highest Wind Encountered: 80MPH
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

I was able to chase twice on June 23rd, once in the morning and once in the evening.

The morning chase was nothing to write home about. A line of storms from the previous nights convection made it across the lake into Lower Michigan. I intercepted the line west of Charlotte, and while I saw quite a bit of turbulence in the clouds, there was nothing of interest, so I went back home and got some chores done during the late morning and early afternoon.

Aric Cylkowski came over and decided to head out again as things were looking like they would refire, and I thought there was a serious threat of supercells in lower Michigan. I drove down to Battle Creek and picked up L.B. LaForce and we headed west on I-94. The SPC apparently thought the bigger threat for tornadic supercells was in Northern IL as they issued a Tornado Watch from about Davenport eastward to Lake Michigan.

I didn’t buy this and stuck around in Kalamazoo for awhile. Visible satellite showed signs of storms popping up near the warm front north of Grand Rapids, so we decided to head up 131. By the time we got to Grand Rapids it was dinner time, and we stopped off at Sonic and got some food before deciding to head back to Lansing. Another hour or two in Lansing before storms started popping west of Lansing. Nothing ever really took off, but we headed out for them, going into Barry County and getting down to I-94 near Kalamazoo.

We decided to intercept the line that was rapidly heading east down near the state line. We drove down 131 to Three Rivers, then headed west on M-60 to M-40 South. We ended up near the town of Union as the line was advancing near to us. We found an open field south of Union, MI to setup next to. We were probably 10-15 minutes ahead of the line, and were able to get all of our cameras up on tripods.

The storm wasn’t very visually appealing when it finally did get close. No breathtaking shelf clouds, but we did measure 79.9 MPH on L.B.’s anemometer as the Derecho passed us by. After dropping a report on Spotternetwork, we drove around and found quite a bit of downed trees. After navigating around trees and driving into ditches to get around trees across the road, we ended up back on US12 near Union. I did a phoner for The Weather Channel and had a Cass County Sheriff officer pull up right behind me while I was on the phone. L.B. was nice enough to let him know what was going on.

We ended up driving more in Cass and St. Joseph Counties in Michigan and made it just across the border where we found a tree approximately 3 feet in diameter across the road. A guy driving a truck had run right into the tree and totaled out his truck.

I did a phoner for WOOD TV 8 in Grand Rapids and almost had someone else run into the tree while I was on the phone.

We headed back towards Battle Creek to take L.B. home and then back to Lansing so that I could go to Cedar Point the next morning.

These are the LSR’s I contributed to from the IWX office.

0907 PM TSTM WND GST 1 ESE UNION 41.78N 85.85W
06/23/2010 M80 MPH CASS MI TRAINED SPOTTER

MEASURED 80 MPH GUST WITH ANEMOMTER

0921 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 SW MOTTVILLE 41.77N 85.80W
06/23/2010 CASS MI TRAINED SPOTTER

2 FT DIAMATER HEALTHY TREE DOWN ACROSS ROAD

0927 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 SW MOTTVILLE 41.79N 85.77W
06/23/2010 CASS MI TRAINED SPOTTER

MULTIPLE HEALTHY TREES LARGER THAN A FOOT DIAMETER DOWN
ACROSS ROAD MAKING ROAD IMPASSABLE

0930 PM TSTM WND DMG 4 SSW WHITE PIGEON 41.74N 85.67W
06/23/2010 ELKHART IN TRAINED SPOTTER

3 FT DIAMETER TREE DOWN ACROSS ROAD. POWER LINES ALSO
DOWN. TRUCK RAN INTO TREE AND SUSTAINED DAMAGE