National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

A Snowy Afternoon

A weakening storm system will pass through the area this afternoon into this evening with light snow. However, the snow my be briefly heavy at times west of Battle Creek and south of I-96 during the mid to late afternoon. Most areas in southwest Michigan will get less than an inch of snow today. Between I-96 and I-94 up to 2 inches of snow is expected. Roads may become icy . Read More >

Overview

 

One of the most powerful Michigan storm systems in recent history occurred the morning of May 31, 1998. A cluster of storms developed over South Dakota the evening of May 30 and organized into a rapidly moving line over Minnesota. The storm raced across Wisconsin, Lower Michigan, Ontario, and upstate New York at speeds averaging 65 mph.

  • 6 people were killed and over 200 were injured
  • 400 homes and businesses were destroyed and 20,000 were damaged
  • 2 million customers lost power
  • $300 million estimated damages (1998 dollars)

Radar analysis from Grand Rapids indicates the strongest part of the storm (between Ludington, Holland, Bay City, and Lansing) moved across West Michigan at 80 mph or more. Wind measurements between 60 and 90 mph were common, and the magnitude of damage indicated that winds gusted as high as 130 mph in Spring Lake and Walker. The radar animation below happened between 4:26 and 6:22 AM EDT.

Wind velocity measurements from the Grand Rapids radar show the exceptionally strong nature of the gust front associated with this storm. Winds several thousands of feet above ground were 90 to 115 mph. Near the surface, winds greater than 60 mph were common, and several bursts exceeding 90-110 mph were measured. Click on each image below to expand to full-size.

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5:06 AM EDT 5:21 AM EDT 6:02 AM EDT
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5:06 AM EDT Grand Haven - Spring Lake 5:21 AM EDT Walker - Zeeland

 

Learn more about this storm

Learn more about "derecho" thunderstorms

 

Click on the image to learn more about safe boating

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