Hail, Sleet, Snow and Rain!

Low pressure moving south of Lower Michigan on Tuesday night brought a wide range of precipitation. Up to 10 inches of snow fell across northern Lower Michigan while thunderstorms brought over 1.5 inches of rain across the south. In between, some places saw snow, sleet, hail, freezing rain and rain. It is rare to get all five types of precipitation in one area in a single day, but this storm had all the necessary ingredients. These included instability, which allowed thunderstorms to form and generate strong updrafts which produced the hail and heavy rain. Also present was a supply of cold air to the north, with warm air moving in from the south. On Tuesday morning temperatures were below zero north of Lake Superior and in the lower 70s across southern Indiana!

The warm air moved in several thousand feet above the ground while a layer of cold air remained near the ground. As the depth of the warm air increased, snow transitioned to sleet, then freezing rain, and finally to rain as surface temperatures rose above freezing.


Here is a map of snow and sleet accumulation from the storm:



Here is a photo of a hailstone that fell in northern Gratiot County. Some areas saw enough pea-sized hail to cover the ground.

Photo courtesy of Josh and Micheal Lator.

Here are photos of lightning damage to a house in East Grand Rapids. Lightning struck the tree and jumped to the front of the house where it blasted apart the brick walkway and part of the entrance. Debris was thrown 30 to 40 feet by the force of the blast.

Photos courtesy of Andy Schut.

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