PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT 
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC, MI 
402 PM EDT TUE MAY 22 2001

...TORNADO SURVEYS IN THE AFTERMATH OF SEVERE WEATHER ON MAY 21 2001...

SURVEYS OF DAMAGE WERE CONDUCTED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSONNEL IN THE AFTERMATH OF SEVERE WEATHER THAT TOOK PLACE IN SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN ON MAY 21 2001. AREAS SURVEYED WERE IN SOUTHWEST OAKLAND COUNTY...EASTERN LIVINGSTON AND SOUTHERN GENESEE COUNTIES... AND SOUTHEAST GENESEE AND SOUTHWEST LAPEER COUNTIES. THESE SURVEYS WERE DONE BOTH ON THE GROUND AND IN THE AIR. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE CONCLUSIONS OF THOSE DAMAGE SURVEYS...

SOUTHWEST OAKLAND COUNTY...

DAMAGE WAS FIRST OBSERVED IN THE NORTH END OF KENSINGTON METRO PARK...JUST WEST OF WHERE HIGH RIDGE DRIVE MEETS KENT LAKE. THE PATH OF DAMAGE EXTENDED FROM THAT LOCATION TO THE NORTH NORTHWEST... ENDING IN THE VICINITY OF THE INTERSECTION OF PEARSON AND HICKORY RIDGE ROADS. THE ENTIRE PATH LENGTH OF THE DAMAGE WAS ABOUT ONE MILE. THE DAMAGE TO THE TREES AND SOME STRUCTURES APPEARED CONSISTENT WITH THAT OF A WEAK TORNADO. THE TORNADO WILL BE RATED AS AN F0 ON THE FUJITA SCALE...WITH MAXIMUM WINDS OF 72 MPH AND A PATH WIDTH OF APPROXIMATELY 150 YARDS.

EASTERN LIVINGSTON COUNTY AND FAR SOUTHERN GENESEE COUNTY...

A SEPARATE THUNDERSTORM FROM THE ONE THAT MOVED THROUGH SOUTHWEST OAKLAND COUNTY DEVELOPED OVER SOUTH CENTRAL LIVINGSTON COUNTY...AND MOVED NORTH ALONG U S 23. DAMAGE WAS FIRST OBSERVED NEAR LAKE WALDEN...JUST NORTH OF HARTLAND HIGH SCHOOL. THE PATH OF THE DAMAGE CONTINUED NORTH AND ADJACENT TO U S 23...EVENTUALLY CROSSING U S 23 BETWEEN CLYDE AND FAUSSETT ROADS. ALONG THE EAST SIDE OF U S 23... AND JUST SOUTH OF CENTER ROAD...THERE WAS A BRIEF BREAK IN THE DAMAGE PATH BEFORE DAMAGE WAS APPARENT AGAIN ON THE WEST SIDE OF U S 23 AT CENTER ROAD. DAMAGE BEGAN TO DIMINISH ON THE WEST SIDE OF U S 23 NEAR WHITE LAKE ROAD...HOWEVER...ISOLATED INSTANCES OF TREE DAMAGE WERE INDICATED JUST ACROSS THE GENESEE COUNTY BORDER TO NEAR OWEN AND LINDEN ROADS.

THE ENTIRE PATH LENGTH OF THE DAMAGE WAS ABOUT 10 MILES. MOST OF THE DAMAGE TO TREES AND STRUCTURES APPEARED CONSISTENT WITH THAT OF A WEAK TORNADO. HOWEVER...JUST NORTH OF MAJESTIC GOLF COURSE... CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE TOOK PLACE TO A HOME AND OTHER NEARBY OBJECTS CONSISTENT WITH THAT OF A STRONG TORNADO. DESPITE THE SHORT BREAK APPARENT IN THE DAMAGE PATH...THE EVENT WILL BE CONSIDERED AS ONE TORNADO RATED AS AN F2 ON THE FUJITA SCALE...WITH MAXIMUM WINDS AROUND 115 MPH AND A PATH WIDTH OF APPROXIMATELY 200 YARDS.

SOUTHEAST GENESEE COUNTY AND SOUTHWEST LAPEER COUNTY...

A GROUND SURVEY OF THIS AREA CONFIRMED A FUJITA SCALE F0 TORNADO IN EXTREME SOUTHEAST GENESEE COUNTY AND SOUTHWEST LAPEER COUNTY. THE TORNADO HAD A LENGTH OF ABOUT 7.3 MILES AND A WIDTH OF 100 YARDS. MAXIMUM WINDS WITH THIS TORNADO WERE 72 MPH. THE TORNADO DEVELOPED JUST SOUTH OF HEGAL ROAD ALONG WASHBURN ROAD IN GENESEE COUNTY. THE TORNADO QUICKLY MOVED NORTHEAST IN LAPEER COUNTY...TRACKING ACROSS HEGAL ROAD...CROSSING HADLEY ROAD NEAR SULLIVAN ROAD. THE TORNADO CONTINUED ACROSS MERWIN ROAD BEFORE DISSIPATING NEAR LIPPINCOTT ROAD. DAMAGE WAS SPORADIC ALONG THE TORNADO TRACK...AND CONFINED MAINLY TO TREES. HOWEVER...SOME STRUCTURAL DAMAGE WAS NOTED TO ROOFS...BARNS... GARAGES...AND OUTLYING BUILDINGS.

Doppler radar image showing a hook echoThe National Weather Service Doppler Radar is co- located at the weather forecast office in White Lake, Michigan.  At approximately 2:30pm EDT, the above reflectivity image indicates a "hook echo" near Hartland.  The arrow shows you where the "hook echo" is in eastern Livingston county; At this time is  when F2 damage was occurring.  Click on the above thumbnail to enlarge the image.
A SRM Storm Relative Motion, or velocity of the same tornadic storm.Here is the SRM (Storm Relative Motion), or velocity of the same tornadic storm.   Notice the green and red colors moving at apposing directions.  With Doppler technology, meteorologists at the National Weather Service were able to issue an accurate and timely Tornado Warning with the Doppler radar.  Click on the above thumbnail for enhanced detail.
a thumbnail of a 4 panel showing the the storm relative motion (srm)Here is a 4-panel image of SRM (storm relative motion).  The Doppler radar does elevation "cuts" of the atmosphere to give meteorologists at the National Weather Service a 3-dimenential look of thunderstorms.  The rotation extended up several thousand feet indicating a well developed circulation.  Again, click on the above thumbnail to enlarge this image.
   
   
   

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