8/29/09 Chase Recap & 6/19/09 MI Tornado Survey

Last Saturday looked like there could be a possibility of waterspouts over Lake Michigan. I checked over all the data, and even the forecasts discussions pointed to a possibility of waterspouts.

I then proceeded to grab some BUFKIT profiles near the shore of Lake Michigan, and begin my forecasting process. At first I was a little worried about the cloud depth, as it didn't look great, but as the days got closer, it got better-but not as great as it could be. Luckily BUFKIT has a lake effect setting to set water temps (which I grabbed off the NOAA GL Forecast) and then it gives you your surface temp to H85 temp split, or delta-t. Two days before last Saturday, I became more worried about the winds, as they showed 20-30kts.

All forecasting aside, I headed up to Muskegon to look for waterspouts, but busted. I'm going to assume the winds were too strong, and undercut any stretching of vertical vorticity. I recorded 21mph sustained winds and a 32.6mph gust-all over 4 hours.

Next up on the table is a few damage photos from the tornadoes that spun up near the lakeshore on the night of 6/19/09. First off, here is an article written by the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids (KGRR) on the event: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/grr/wcm/TornadoSurvey19June2009.pdf

These first set of pics are from a tornado that touched down just outside of the town of Richland, MI. This tornado was rated an EF-2, but this tree damage was EF-0.

This first picture shows an aerial view of the section of trees that were snapped, follow by three images of the damage. (All satellite/aerial photos courtesy of Google Maps)

Making our way towards the lakeshore just some 21 miles WNW of Richland, and north of the town of Bloomingdale, MI was where another tornado touched down. This tornado was also rated an EF-2, and had a 5.75 mile path length, and was 1/4 mile wide! Here are a few pics of the worst damage:

The same tornado also destroyed this old barn just to the west of where the the house above was destroyed.

Finally, here is a picture of the trip route: