August 9th Severe Weather and Heavy Rain

A couple rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms moved through Southwest Lower Michigan on Sunday, August 9th. The first round moved into  the area after 5 pm with the  strongest thunderstorms moving onshore between Muskegon and Grand Haven between 620 pm and 630 pm, as shown on the radar image below on the left. The second image is a radar estimate of wind speeds. The blue color shows potential 70+ mph winds.

Damaging straight-line winds up to 70 mph were experienced from P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (just south of Muskegon) to Grand Haven. This severe thunderstorm continued inland, and hit Fruitport where wind damage indicated wind speeds around 75 mph. Numerous trees were blown over and uprooted and many homes and businesses lost power. The line of thunderstorms maintained their intensity as they continued to the east/northeast, and took aim on the Kent City area in Northern Kent County between 655 pm and 7 pm. Damage in Kent City and Sparta indicated winds of 60-65 mph. Below are images of the storms as they hit the Kent City area. The first image is from 652 pm, the second is from 656 pm, and the final image is from 7 pm.

Click on images to enlarge

The line of storms then weakened as they continued to the east/northeast. Additional storms were ongoing across the coutnies south of Interstate 96. The storms produced mainly wind speeds up to 55 mph and some isolated hail reports up to dime size in diameter. A stronger storm did develop, and was embedded in the line as it moved over the northern portion of Jackson. Winds from the thunderstorm ripped part of the roof off the Northwest Kidder Middle School, located just northwest of the U.S.-127 and I-94 Interchange. Damage to the school  was estimated at 400 thousand dollars. Below is an image of the storm as it was approaching Jackson.

Click on the image to enlarge

Below is a listing of reports from the Sunday evening storms.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND RAPIDS MI
918 PM EDT SUN AUG 09 2009

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0630 PM TSTM WND GST MUSKEGON 43.22N 86.25W
08/09/2009 M61.00 MPH MUSKEGON MI OFFICIAL NWS OBS

MUSKEGON ASOS PEAK WIND OBSERVATION

0640 PM HEAVY RAIN 2 W WAYLAND 42.67N 85.68W
08/09/2009 M1.51 INCH ALLEGAN MI COCORAHS

RAINFALL FROM 615 PM THROUGH 7 PM EDT.

0640 PM TSTM WND DMG 2 NE COOPERSVILLE 43.09N 85.93W
08/09/2009 OTTAWA MI TRAINED SPOTTER

LARGE TREES AND BRANCHES DOWN ON 40TH AND 48TH STREETS
BETWEEN WILSON AND CLEVELAND.

0645 PM TSTM WND DMG 4 NNE COOPERSVILLE 43.12N 85.93W
08/09/2009 OTTAWA MI PUBLIC

SHINGLES BLOWN OFF OF BARN.

0655 PM TSTM WND DMG SPARTA 43.16N 85.71W
08/09/2009 KENT MI COUNTY OFFICIAL

KENT COUNTY DISPATCH REPORTS TREES AND WIRES DOWN WITH
ACTIVE FIRES IN AND AROUND THE CITY OF SPARTA AT THE
FOLLOWING LOCATIONS...11200 STUBBINS....3506 14 MILE
NW...70 CARRIE IN THE TOWN OF SPARTA...53 ELMWOOD IN THE
TOWN OF SPARTA...PEACH RIDGE AND 12 MILE ROAD...AND PEACH
RIDGE AND 14 MILE ROAD. ALL REPORTED BETWEEN 650 AND 65
PM. LIGHTNING MAY HAVE CAUSED MANY OF THE FIRES.

0700 PM TSTM WND GST 4 SSW CEDAR SPRINGS 43.18N 85.58W
08/09/2009 E60.00 MPH KENT MI TRAINED SPOTTER

0700 PM TSTM WND GST SPARTA 43.16N 85.71W
08/09/2009 M54.00 MPH KENT MI CO-OP OBSERVER

0708 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 E KENT CITY 43.22N 85.69W
08/09/2009 KENT MI TRAINED SPOTTER

2 FOOT DIAMETER TREE UPROOTED. 8 INCH DIAMETER HEALTHY
TREE SNAPPED. MANY ADDITIONAL TREES UPROOTED OR BENT
OVER.

0720 PM TSTM WND GST 2 SW CEDAR SPRINGS 43.20N 85.58W
08/09/2009 E60.00 MPH KENT MI TRAINED SPOTTER

ONE QUARTER INCH HAIL ALSO REPORTED.

0722 PM TSTM WND GST 1 SE BATTLE CREEK 42.32N 85.19W
08/09/2009 E50.00 MPH CALHOUN MI AMATEUR RADIO

SMALL LIMBS AND BRANCHES DOWN.

0728 PM TSTM WND DMG 5 ESE CASNOVIA 43.21N 85.70W
08/09/2009 KENT MI TRAINED SPOTTER

A POWER POLE IN GREAT CONDITION WAS SNAPPED COMPLETELY
OFF. POWER LINES DRAPED ACROSS THE ROAD. MANY MORE
HEALTHY AND ROTTEN TREES DOWN.

0735 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 W CEDAR SPRINGS 43.22N 85.61W
08/09/2009 KENT MI TRAINED SPOTTER

14 INCH DIAMETER TREE DOWN. POWER LINES DOWN.

0810 PM TSTM WND GST JACKSON 42.25N 84.41W
08/09/2009 M55.00 MPH JACKSON MI OFFICIAL NWS OBS

JACKSON ASOS MEASURED WIND GUST.

0820 PM TSTM WND DMG SW WEBBERVILLE 42.66N 84.18W
08/09/2009 INGHAM MI AMATEUR RADIO

NUMEROUS TREES DOWN.

0825 PM HAIL 3 SE RIVES JUNCTION 42.35N 84.43W
08/09/2009 E0.70 INCH JACKSON MI TRAINED SPOTTER
 

There was a lull in the action from 10 pm Sunday through just after midnight, early Monday morning. Another line of storms then developed from near Holland to Lansing after midnight. These storms produced no severe weather, however they contained torrential downpours and frequent to near continuous lightning. These storms continued to affect the same areas, and eventually drifted north. Some locations across northern Allegan, Barry, Eaton, and Ingham counties, and southern of Ottawa, Kent, and Ionia counties saw between 2 and 4 inches of rain Sunday evening and Sunday night. This was on top of the rain that fell Friday night through Saturday night. Below is an image of the rainfall that occurred late Sunday afternoon through early Monday morning.



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