9/1/14

Summer of 2014; Was it Really So Cool? You Might Be Surprised! And, Was it Wet? No Surprise Here!

Overall summer across Southeast lower Michigan averaged right on normal across Southeast Lower Michigan when you average the three main climate sites.  What?

Yes, that's right! The one degree /-1.1/ below normal at Detroit is purely a function of the warmer 30 year normals for Detroit (as compared to Flint and Saginaw who actually averaged normal to slightly above - see stats below) The warmer normals at Detroit are mainly due to the expansion of Detroit's heat island out into the suburbs including Detroit Metro Arpt. In addition (and more proof of the heat island affect); the 70.6 degree average at the Detroit landed squarely on the 100 year normal for Detroit before the artificial heating /70.6/.

Want more proof that backs up the heat island affect at Detroit; look at the normal temperatures and this summer's averages at both Flint and Saginaw (below) whose sites have negligible heat island affects. Flint actually averaged about a degree /+0.9/ above normal, why Saginaw averaged almost right on normal /+0.2/. In fact at Flint, both June and August averaged close to 2 1/2 degres above normal! Therefore, none of the climate sites in Southeast Lower Michigan landed anywhere near the top 20 coolest for the summer.


Reasons it felt even cooler:


Oh there were cooler statistics; the notable less than normal 90s across the entire region!
Detroit felt only three 90 degree or better temperatures. One each month, with the highest at 94 on 7/22/14. Flint only felt one 90 degree day on 6/17/14 during the summer season while Saginaw also felt a 90, on 6/28/14. These recorded 90s are far below the normal or average across Southeast Lower Michigan where 8-12 are routinely seen in a year (it is still possible yet to catch one or two in September).

Another big reason (if not the biggest) was the notably cooler than normal July. All three stations rallied on below normal statistics there! As far as my opinion, if temperatures are gonna be below normal...JULY is the welcome month!


Top 20 Coldest/Warmest Julys in Southeast Lower Michigan
 
Rank Detroit Area* Flint Bishop** Saginaw Area***
Coldest Warmest Coldest Warmest Coldest Warmest
Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year
1 67.1 1891 79.3 2011 65.6 2009 78.0 1921 66.0 2009 77.5 1921
2 68.8 1992 79.0 1955 66.9 1992 77.7 1935 66.2 1992 76.8 1916
3 68.9 2009 79.0 2012 67.3 1967 76.8 2011 67.1 1924 76.4 2012
4 68.9 1967 79.0 1921 67.3 1962 76.7 1934 67.2 1920 76.2 1935
5 69.6 1971 77.9 1916 67.4 1971 76.5 1955 67.3 1945 76.1 2011
6 69.6 1875 77.7 1931 67.4 1960 76.1 2012 67.5 1962 76.0 1931
7 69.7 1920 77.1 1988 67.5 2000 76.1 1931 67.5 1956 75.9 1955
8 69.9 2014 76.8 1999 67.6 1996 75.9 1936 67.8 1950 75.9 1936
9 69.9 1924 76.8 1901 68.3 2014 75.8 1933 67.9 2000 75.8 1988
10 69.9 1884 76.6 2010 68.3 1950 75.5 1987 68.2 1965 75.5 1934
11 70.2 2000 76.5 2002 68.4 2004 75.2 1988 68.4 2014 75.3 1933
12 70.3 1882 76.5 1952 68.4 1965 74.9 2002 68.4 1985 74.3 2010

Still another reason it felt cooler; it's been hotter in recent years and thus, comparatively it  "felt" cooler. And finally to a lesser extent if felt cooler; it rained a lot - more than average at all three sites.

Analogues/Outlook?

My analogues and outlook temperatures and projected averages performed well and right from the get go when I dismissed the projection's of a notably cool summer...

Temperatures :


Overall; a comfortable summer is on tap as I look for temperatures to average around normal to slightly below for the summer. That being said I don't anticipate a notably cool summer. I look for temperatures to average between +1.0 degree and -2.0 degrees of the summer norms across Southeast Lower Michigan (see a more thorough discussion under Analogues). Many others are calling for a cooler than normal summer across the Great Lakes; including Southeast Lower Michigan.

Since late fall of 2013, we have had a couple of years which take full marks for past prediction of the past few seasons; 1880-81 and 1981-82. And, maybe not surprising; 1881 contained a normal summer while 1982 had a cool summer (like our two prevalent trends seen). Another year; 1899 joins these analogue ranks as a decent performer during the winter and a good parallel this spring. All three analogues projected a cool spring with the temperature pattern we've seen this spring with time; below normal - normal - above normal. These analogue springs averaged below normal because of a very cold beginning to the season but will a gradual trend change from below to normal to above (Mar; Apr, May). The Summer of 1899 turned out to have a normal summer, therefore we have two normal summers and one below for the recent better performing analogues.

While the summer temperature and averages performed well; the pattern unfolded slower than prevailing analogues...just like the spring. May's above normal warmth held through much of June while June's expected coolness showed up by July. The sign wave pattern returned to normal and above in August. While overall temperatures pattern trends and numbers/averages for the summer are realized, the timing remained somewhat elusive. And as stated before, temperature patterns most of the time don't come neatly wrapped in monthly intervals in the real meteorological world, therefore this signal is least important.

 

Wet and Wetter!


It was the 19th wettest summer at Detroit with 12.75"; 17th wettest at Flint with 12.04" and Saginaw just missed 20th spot with 10.52 (20th 10.63").

Of course the big news of the summer around metro Detroit was the big flash flooding event on August 11th with 4.57" of rain officially at Detroit. Other totals were higher and lower for a complete write up see here. The rainfall total at Detroit in August was 6.32", which made it the 9th wettest! Had that on day of flooding rains not occurred, August would have been drier than normal with just 1.75" falling the remainder of the month.

That 4.57" of rain in a calendar day was also quite noteworthy! After researching my records from Detroit, I noted that amount was the second highest amount of rain ever to fall on a calendar day in Detroit!  "Previous record was back in 1926 with nearly the same... 4.51" on August 17th, 1926. However this is NOT the record of all time for a date...that record also occurred in the 1920s...occurring back on July 31, 1924 with 4.74". 

You might remember last summer around metro Detroit was also a wet one; actually wetter than this one with its rainfall total; a whopping 16.13" of rain fell making it the third wettest summer of all time records in Detroit. However; Flint and Saginaw were decidedly drier and not placing in the top 20 wettest list.

Analogues/Outlook?

Rainfall:

I look for rainfall to be quite variable as mixed data presents conflicting results but this is not unlike many summers. Taking all data (past and present) into account; rainfall is expected to be around normal over the southern sections of Southeast Lower Michigan and normal to below across the Saginaw Valley and Thumb Region.

Rainfall projections for the summer, are really a mixed bag, as it frequently is in the summer with four normal rainfalls, four below and two above with the average skewed on the drier side. A notable trend from many of the summer analogues are wetter conditions early and/or mid summer with drier weather later summer.

No doubt about it my call for normal rains south and normal to below south was too dry. While lesser rains did fall in the far northern sections of the region, most areas still received above normal rain. This was primarily do to just a day or couple days of torrential rains. In addition; the jet stream remained active across southern Canada and the Mid West as expected see Stormy Weather, below.



Stormy Weather?

All in all it seamed rather normal to maybe somewhat above normal for severe thunderstorm activity/warnings but well below for tornadoes with just two confirmed this summer. Don't quote me on these statistics since they aren't out.

Analogues/Outlook ?

Stormy Weather?

As mentioned above; the data to me depicts a notable confrontation zone and I believe we have just recently entered it as of late May. Typically, the busiest times for severe weather in these parts is June into July; with mid June to mid July prime-pickens. I've included the severe weather stats for Southeast Lower Michigan since 1980. Looking above at our analogue summers since then are 1982, 1991, 1997 and 2002 and all but 1982 contained normal to above normal (or busy) severe seasons. That's not surprising given the jet stream that's been dominant in Canada this year. Were this upper jet continued to be aggressive, notable wind events, squall lines and possibly a derecho event or two across the country would be the risk. 

This confrontation zone held well  (too well) through the summer as the upper low/northwest jet stream remained active all summer and thus, the parade of cold fronts, warm fronts and resulting heavier rains. 

Epilogue;  

Overall when considering both temperatures and precipitation, two analogue years held us in good stead for the summer; 1957 and 1968. Both were wet with temperatures averaging close to this summers (see analogue chart)

Next Up...The Autumn Outlook. 

Note; this summer data is preliminary and has not been released by the NWS
as of 900pm Monday, Sep 1st 2014.



Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian

8/22/14

Death and Unprecedented Damage From the Flood of 1986 in Central Lower Michigan Along With Other Notable Floods!

Because of the serious flooding over Southeast Lower Michigan in mainly
the metro Detroit area seen in August 2014; I've decided to run one of my
earliest articles with the NWS in regard to a more widespread serious
flooding event that took place over central Lower Michigan nearly 30
years ago on September 10-12th, 1986. I've added additional information
on it and other notable floods. 
 
From reports and wiki on the '86 Flood:
"Damage was unprecedented. Dam failure abounded with a total of 14 dams 
undermined and an addition 19 dams at risk during the event. Four major 
bridges failed. Thousands of acres of sugar beets, beans, potatoes, 
corn, and other vegetables were in ruin. A total of six people perished 
during the flood. Damage totaled US$500 million (1986 dollars), and 30 
counties were declared Federal disaster areas."


I was well into my career when this took place with much of the activity 
taking place over the NWS Flint's jurisdiction of Southeast Lower Michigan.
However; the NWS Forecast Office in Ann Arbor and NWS Detroit also aided 
this region with river warnings and radar information. I've also included
some historical news items on the storm at the end. 

 
 ...A Thumbnail Sketch of a Great Flood in Southeast Michigan... 
  By: Bill Deedler, Southeast Lower Michigan Weather Historian 
September, being somewhat of a transition month between summer 
and fall, generally brings a taming of the summer heat and
thunderstorms. Normal rainfall amounts drop off from the summer 
maximums and the weather, more often than not, goes into more of
a tranquil period before the fall storms begin to rage. But this
was not the case on September 10-12th, 1986 in the "Thumb Region"
of Southeast Lower Michigan.
In the worst flood devastation in 50 years, total damage was
estimated between 400 and 500 million dollars. Of that total,
around $120 million was crop damage, since the flood came near
harvest time. The entire flood area covered generally a 60 mile
wide band across the central portion of Lower Michigan. The
central axis of the flood area extended from north of Muskegon,
near Rothbury, east across all of Central Lower Michigan to near
Port Sanilac, in Southeast Lower Michigan's "Thumb Region". Some
major cities in Southeast Lower Michigan affected by the flood
included Saginaw, Bay City and Midland. It is interesting to note
that the city of Flint actually experienced more severe flooding
in September 1985 than it did in September 1986. 
Several estimates about the likelihood of such a flood like the
one in 1986 were tossed about such as, it was a "100 year flood"
or even a "500 year flood". But to the people of the flood
stricken area it is known as "The Flood"! A number of rain events
plagued this area through September but the main one occurred
September 10-12th, 1986. The flooding rains were triggered by
a nearly stationary front which, like the flood area itself,
stretched east-west across Central Lower Michigan. Warm,
moisture-laden air from the Gulf of Mexico (enhanced by a
moisture plume from remnants of a tropical system over the
Eastern Pacific), streamed north and east out of the Midwest,
across the stationary front into Central Lower Michigan. To the
north, cooler, drier air remained entrenched over Upper Michigan.
The upper wind pattern across the Great Lakes was conducive in
holding the surface front nearly in place, resulting only in a
slow drift to the north through the entire period. This, in turn,
caused any available moisture pushing north across the front to
be wrung out and dumped persistently over the same general area.

An extensive area of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms with
torrential rains developed just north of the front and extended
west from Michigan into Wisconsin. As the moisture from the south
overran the front and fell as heavy rain over Central Lower
Michigan, it also traversed the same area from west to east
during the two day period. This process of precipitation
developing and repeatedly moving over the same area is known
all too well by meteorologists and hydrologists as "train-
echoing". This was the primary mechanism for the persistent 
heavy rainfall during this particular flood event. 
The rain began late Tuesday night, September 9th, over West-
Central Lower Michigan and steadily moved east across Central
Lower Michigan and into the "Thumb Region" of Southeast Lower
Michigan overnight. Rainfall during the September 10-12th period
over Central Lower Michigan averaged an incredible 6 to 12
inches, with even isolated reports of up to 14 inches. Much of
this deluge fell in a 12 hour period on the 11th. The heaviest
band of rain over Southeast Lower Michigan for the two day period
extended from the Alma area, east across Saginaw into Vassar. As
a result of these monsoon-like rains, several rivers surged over
their banks and established record heights (see table below). 
 
River Flood Stage Crest  (date) (old) Record  (date)
Tittabawassee
(Midland)
24 33.94  (9/13/1986) 29.70   (3/28/1916)
Saginaw
(Saginaw)
19 *24.16   (9/15/1986) *24.90   (3/30/1904)
Pine
(Alma)
8 12.82   (9/12/1986) 10.81   (3/13/1948)
Cass
(Vassar)
14 24.82   (9/12/1986) 20.80   (3/30/1948)
Cass
(Frankenmuth)
17 27.52   (9/12/1986)
23.30   (5/22/1996)
22.83   (3/6/1976)
*  Saginaw River at Saginaw did not establish a new record height
 
The Cass River at Vassar with a flood stage of 14 feet, rose to
an unprecedented (and almost unbelievable) 24.82 feet, or better
than 10 feet above flood stage! This level of nearly 25 feet is
even more astonishing, when you consider the normal height of the
river is about 4.5 feet. Likewise, the Cass River at Frankenmuth
rose to around 10 feet above its flood stage with a 27.52 feet
reading (flood stage is 17 feet). Coincidentally and interesting
to note, the Cass River at both Frankenmuth and Vassar has had
record (or near record) flooding every 10 years since 1976.
Like many locations in and near rivers and drainage areas, the
flooding in the town of Vassar was a nightmare! It was definitely
one of the hardest hit areas with all the downtown businesses and
about 50 homes being flooded. The flood waters reached to the
intersection of Main and Huron St. on the northwest side of the
Cass River and extended to the intersection of Huron and East St.
on the southeast side. The river rose so quickly and forcefully,
that some people barely had enough time to get out. Several
people awoke in Vassar to find their streets and cars covered 
in rushing water as the raging river surrounded their homes and
businesses. But further downriver on the Cass, at Frankenmuth,
vigorous sand bagging on top of permanent levees protected the
downtown area from any serious flooding. 
Several people lost their lives either directly or indirectly
due to the flood. Looking through newspaper articles and
related storm reports, at least 10 people died. The body of
a hunter was found on the bank of the Muskegon River, a woman
who drove her car off a flooded road into the Cass river, two
children playing near flooded streams were swept away, two more 
people drowned while in boats, falling overboard; and another 
two men were electrocuted while using sump pumps in flooded
rooms. Sadly, the flood also took its toll on human life in
another, devastating way. Two farmers, after seeing all their 
crops under water, committed suicide. Close to 100 people were
injured in the flood, whether it be during preventive flood
procedures or during cleanup activities.
 Across Central Lower Michigan, 22 counties were declared disaster
areas. This encompassed nearly 14,000 square miles and where 1.8
million people lived.  Even though damage was estimated between
400 to 500 million dollars, it hard to put a dollar figure on the
huge amount of personal items these people lost and also, the
emotional scars some still carry with them. To give an idea the
volume of water that fell over Saginaw River basin, it was
estimated by the state hydrologist (at that time) that if that
water could be drained into Lake St. Clair, it would raise its
level 10 feet!  The Bay City Times, in retrospect, summed up
"The Flood" well by telling their readers to just scan the "D"
listings in the dictionary,"its all there, Downpours, Drenching,
Devastation and Disaster"! 
Two key elements that contribute to flash flooding are rainfall
intensity and duration. Other factors that play important roles
include soil conditions, topography and ground cover. Flash
floods cause more deaths each year in the United States than
either lightning, tornadoes or hurricanes! In the 20 year
period from 1972-1991, on an average, 146 people were killed
every year from flash flooding. Lightning claimed 80 lives per
year during the period, tornadoes 69, and hurricanes 17.
The National Weather service issues Flash Flood Warnings when
flash flooding is occurring or imminent. Remember the following
when you are in a flood situation...
 
1)  Get out of areas subject to flooding, including terrain low
    spots, dips, canyons, washes, etc.
2)  Avoid already flooded and high velocity flow areas. Do not
    attempt to cross flowing streams
3)  If driving, be aware that the road bed may not be intact
    under flood waters. Turn around and go another way. NEVER
    drive through flooded roadways!
4)  If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek
    higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle
    and its occupants and sweep them away.
5)  Be especially cautious at night when its harder to recognize
    flood dangers.
6)  Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes,
    particularly during threatening weather conditions.
7)  Do not let children play around high water, storm drains
    rivers or creeks.
8)  If advised to evacuate, do so IMMEDIATELY!
9)  Move to a safe area before its access it cut off by high      
      water.
10) Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, television or radio for the
      latest warnings and information.
 
 
Other information and news items on this great flood & other notable floods 

Flood of the century devastated area in '86

Hundreds Flee Flood After Heavy Rain Bursts Dam in Michigan

The page below also discusses the historic floods of 1904 (after our coldest winter and heavy  snowfalls) along with the Flood of 1947

Floods; National Water Summary 1988-89 —Floods and Droughts: MICHIGAN

Finally, a "thumbnail sketch" of Floods in the United States: 1901–2000



 
Will the Autumn of 2014 continue our trend of below normal temperatures and normal to above normal
rains? See my Fall Outlook early September along with my new proposed endeavor for myself and
area teachers. 
 
Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian 
 

8/11/14

Historic Rainfall & Flooding Over Areas of Metro Detroit - New Record DAY Rainfall at Detroit for the Month of August But Not for All Time

Day Record Rainfall for Detroit in the month of August with 4.57" was reported at DTW on August 11th, 2014 up to 10 pm. Previous record was back in 1926 with nearly the same... 4.51" on August 17th, 1926. However this is NOT the record of all time for a date...that record also occurred in the 1920s...occurring back on July 31, 1924 with 4.74" That specific  record should hold into midnight. More recently; back in 1998 on July 7th the NWS @ Detroit Metro Arpt recorded 4.34" of rain on that date.

Therefore; the historic rain recorded at DTW today (8/11/14) was the second highest rainfall for any date since records began. The highest again for a day/date; 4.74" on 7/31/24.



                              Record Crest of Clinton River @ near Clinton Twp


The Clinton River broke its all time record flood stage following Monday's heavy rain. At its peak, the flow was approx 12,000 cubic feet per second, which is equivalent to 84,000 gal/s, which is 5 million gallons a minute! /NWS-DTX/


Historic Rainfall & Flooding Across Metro Detroit -NWS

Rainfall and storm reports from 8/11/14


Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian

8/2/14

Extreme Temperature Julys Are Becoming More Commonplace Across Southeast Lower Michigan

In the past five years, three Julys have placed on the top 20 warmest Julys while two have placed on the top coolest! And out of those; three have placed in the top six coolest or warmest Julys. So, basically it's been feast or famine lately for July temperatures over Southeast Lower Michigan.

June and July's temperature statistics are in across Southeast Lower Michigan and while cool, not terribly so. Actually June was above normal so it's really July that we have to contend with...

JULY'S COOL TEMPERATURES
 
DETROIT
AVG. MAXIMUM     79.9              83.4    -3.5
AVG. MINIMUM     59.9              63.9    -4.0
MEAN             69.9              73.6    -3.7    8TH COOLEST
DAYS MAX >= 90      1               4.5    -3.5

FLINT

AVG. MAXIMUM     79.1              81.9    -2.8
AVG. MINIMUM     57.5              59.2    -1.7
MEAN             68.3              70.5    -2.2    9TH COOLEST
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               2.8    -2.8

SAGINAW

AVG. MAXIMUM     78.4              81.8    -3.4
AVG. MINIMUM     58.4              60.2    -1.8
MEAN             68.4              71.0    -2.6    11TH COOLEST
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               3.0    -3.0
 

SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN /3 CLIMATE SITES/

 

DTW  FNT  MBS   AVE NOR DEP

69.9 + 68.3 + 68.4 = 68.9 - 71.7 = - 2.8   ~  10TH COOLEST

LAST TIME THIS COOL OR COOLER: 2009

68.9 + 65.6 + 66.0 = 66.8 - 71.7 = - 4.9   ~  2ND COOLEST

 

 

So as you can see while cool this July, it was nowhere as cool as in 2009 which was Detroit's 3rd coolest July and Flint and Saginaw's coolest of all record time. One of the main reasons it felt so cool this July is that we are coming down off two back to back hot Julys; 2011 & 2012! Last July /2013/ averaged slightly above normal.

 

Rank Detroit Area* Flint Bishop** Saginaw Area***
Coldest Warmest Coldest Warmest Coldest Warmest
Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year
1 67.1 1891 79.3 2011 65.6 2009 78.0 1921 66.0 2009 77.5 1921
2 68.8 1992 79.0 1955 66.9 1992 77.7 1935 66.2 1992 76.8 1916
3 68.9 2009 79.0 2012 67.3 1967 76.8 2011 67.1 1924 76.4 2012
4 68.9 1967 79.0 1921 67.3 1962 76.7 1934 67.2 1920 76.2 1935
5 69.6 1971 77.9 1916 67.4 1971 76.5 1955 67.3 1945 76.1 2011
6 69.6 1875 77.7 1931 67.4 1960 76.1 2012 67.5 1962 76.0 1931

 

Even more notable in the recent past since the millennium, eight out of 15 Julys (including July 2000) placed either in the top 20 coolest or warmest July listings at all three climate sites! Therefore just over half of the last 15 Julys /53%/ made the top 20 lists. Extraordinary when you consider records go back into the early 1900s at Flint and Saginaw and 1870s in Detroit! In additions; temperature deviations during the summer months are less wide or exaggerated by nature. The hotter Julys have it over the cooler ones thus far; about 5 to 3 in the past 15 years anyway.

 















Top 20 Coldest/Warmest Julys in Southeast Lower Michigan
 
Rank Detroit Area* Flint Bishop** Saginaw Area***
Coldest Warmest Coldest Warmest Coldest Warmest
Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year Temp Year
1 67.1 1891 79.3 2011 65.6 2009 78.0 1921 66.0 2009 77.5 1921
2 68.8 1992 79.0 1955 66.9 1992 77.7 1935 66.2 1992 76.8 1916
3 68.9 2009 79.0 2012 67.3 1967 76.8 2011 67.1 1924 76.4 2012
4 68.9 1967 79.0 1921 67.3 1962 76.7 1934 67.2 1920 76.2 1935
5 69.6 1971 77.9 1916 67.4 1971 76.5 1955 67.3 1945 76.1 2011
6 69.6 1875 77.7 1931 67.4 1960 76.1 2012 67.5 1962 76.0 1931
7 69.7 1920 77.1 1988 67.5 2000 76.1 1931 67.5 1956 75.9 1955
8 69.9 2014 76.8 1999 67.6 1996 75.9 1936 67.8 1950 75.9 1936
9 69.9 1924 76.8 1901 68.3 2014 75.8 1933 67.9 2000 75.8 1988
10 69.9 1884 76.6 2010 68.3 1950 75.5 1987 68.2 1965 75.5 1934
11 70.2 2000 76.5 2002 68.4 2004 75.2 1988 68.4 2014 75.3 1933
12 70.3 1882 76.5 1952 68.4 1965 74.9 2002 68.4 1985 74.3 2010
13 70.4 1979 76.2 1949 68.6 1956 74.5 1949 68.5 2004 74.2 1930
14 70.4 1965 76.2 1935 68.6 1968 74.5 1939 68.6 1981 74.1 1983
15 70.4 1915 76.1 2006 68.6 1945 74.2 2010 68.6 1925 74.1 1937
16 70.4 1895 76.0 1987 69.0 1969 74.0 1983 68.7 1947 73.9 1987
17 70.6 1996 75.9 1964 69.1 1947 73.8 1977 68.8 1979 73.5 2006
18 70.6 1978 75.9 1887 69.2 1924 73.7 1938 68.8 1915 73.5 2002
19 70.7 1984 75.7 1977 69.4 1997 73.5 1952 69.1 1978 73.3 1998
20 70.7 1945 75.5 1993 69.4 1954 73.4 1940 69.1 1951 73.3 1966
* Detroit Area temperature records date back to January 1874.












 

Another thing I'll throw out there while on the subject of top 20 lists; the top 20 lists have also been busy in the winter for coldest/warmest months and snowfall. Why? One thing is a more amplified upper jet stream, more blocking and stormier pattern. Global climate change or natural cyclical climate pattern changes /NAO, AO, PDO, AMO, EL NINO, LA NINA,  MJO/ or some of both? Since it is such a short trend where climate change is concerned, I lean more on the side with natural cyclical changes in regard to the past 15 years. Time will tell....

 

 

Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian









































































































































































7/24/14

A Relatively Cool July Will Support a Below Normal Summer Thus Far & Severe Weather 7/27/14

With two-thirds of July complete and in the midst of another refreshing cool summer-time air mass with another significant one in the wings by early next week, July 2014 will undoubtedly average notably below normal across Southeast Lower Michigan. While June averaged above normal across Southeast Lower Michigan, July's potent cool spells will have erased all the above normals at month's end and the region will sit in below normal territory thus far for the summer.

The temperature pattern thus far for the two months has been above normal then below, and how August plays out will clarify the picture. Therefore; when the timing of the temperatures pattern and upper air was similar to this year, how did August fare? In analogue data when July averaged more than one degree below normal; the August analogues averaged normal to below; just like our summer data did.

Latest CFS Model projections for August is a cool one for most of the country. It must be remembered that this 16 member CFS is highly weighted to the recent, last few weeks trend; also cool.







This member of the CFS projects more of a normal Aug in the Great Lakes with the cooler below normal area west of the lakes. Interesting how the computer models agree strongly with our analogues for August set up in the spring, normal to below tempertures.




Finally; looks like CPC is going middle of the road with the models with the below normal encompassing the western Lakes.





Of course, our summer departure data at Detroit will have to be taken with a grain of salt since its normals have been influenced by the urban heat island. When calculating Flint or Saginaw thus far, a lesser below normal departure is seen. Whats most important is the average temperature and where we place at Detroit, Flint and Saginaw relative to an average or normal summer; and a Southeast Lower Michigan summer temperature as a whole. At the end of July, I'll look at the Summer 2014 in statistics and where we place relative to an average summer thus far.

Severe Weather  on 7/27/14

Widespread severe weather accompanied by damaging winds and hail was observed over Southeast Lower Michigan Sunday afternoon and early evening on the 27th. This was well telegraphed by the models mid to late week (see original write-up 7/24) This appears to be our strongest event for the Severe Weather Season of 2014 thus far....

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
930 PM EDT SUN JUL 27 2014

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

0221 PM     HAIL             5 NW AUBURN             43.65N 84.15W 
07/27/2014  E2.50 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE REPORT.

0230 PM     HAIL             3 ENE MIDLAND           43.64N 84.17W 
07/27/2014  M3.00 INCH       MIDLAND            MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT

0230 PM     HAIL             MIDLAND                 43.62N 84.23W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       MIDLAND            MI   PUBLIC          

            LOTS OF 1.5 INCH HAIL...A FEW TO 1.75 INCHES. RELAYED VIA
            FACEBOOK WITH PICTURES.

0241 PM     HAIL             4 NNW AUBURN            43.65N 84.13W 
07/27/2014  E2.00 INCH       BAY                MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT.

0243 PM     HAIL             1 E WILLARD             43.67N 84.09W 
07/27/2014  E1.75 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED BY SHAVE PROJECT

0249 PM     HAIL             3 WNW KAWKAWLIN         43.67N 84.00W 
07/27/2014  E2.00 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT

0250 PM     HAIL             2 W KAWKAWLIN           43.65N 83.99W 
07/27/2014  M2.00 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT

0250 PM     HAIL             4 SSW LINWOOD           43.69N 84.01W 
07/27/2014  E1.00 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT

0256 PM     HAIL             1 ENE KAWKAWLIN         43.66N 83.93W 
07/27/2014  E2.50 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT

0300 PM     HAIL             3 S LINWOOD             43.70N 83.98W 
07/27/2014  E1.50 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT

0300 PM     HAIL             KAWKAWLIN               43.65N 83.95W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

0300 PM     HAIL             2 NNW KAWKAWLIN         43.68N 83.96W 
07/27/2014  E1.75 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT.

0305 PM     HAIL             1 ESE KAWKAWLIN         43.65N 83.93W 
07/27/2014  E2.00 INCH       BAY                MI   PUBLIC          

            RELAYED VIA SHAVE PROJECT

0310 PM     HAIL             4 N BAY CITY            43.65N 83.87W 
07/27/2014  M1.00 INCH       BAY                MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0310 PM     HAIL             3 S PINCONNING          43.81N 83.96W 
07/27/2014  M2.00 INCH       BAY                MI   AMATEUR RADIO   

            RELAYED WITH PICTURES

0310 PM     HAIL             4 NNE BAY CITY          43.65N 83.87W 
07/27/2014  M1.50 INCH       BAY                MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            IN BANGOR TWP RIGHT ON SAGINAW BAY

0400 PM     LIGHTNING        1 SSW CASEVILLE         43.93N 83.28W 
07/27/2014                   HURON              MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            BUILDING DAMAGE CAUSED BY LIGHTNING STRIKE. 

0400 PM     LIGHTNING        1 SSW CASEVILLE         43.93N 83.29W 
07/27/2014                   HURON              MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            HOUSE FIRE CAUSED BY LIGHTNING.

0415 PM     HAIL             3 ENE HARTLAND          42.67N 83.69W 
07/27/2014  M1.00 INCH       LIVINGSTON         MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0420 PM     MARINE TSTM WIND 8 ESE AU GRES           44.02N 83.54W 
07/27/2014  M59.00 MPH       LHZ421             MI   BUOY            

            MEASURED AT GRAVELLY SHOALS LIGHT

0425 PM     HAIL             6 SW SANFORD            43.61N 84.47W 
07/27/2014  M1.50 INCH       MIDLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            AT M-20 AND 11 MILE

0430 PM     HAIL             3 NNE HIGHLAND          42.68N 83.61W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            HARVEY LAKE RD AND MILFORD RD

0431 PM     HAIL             HIGHLAND                42.64N 83.62W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0435 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 N MILFORD             42.67N 83.62W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            AT MOBILE HOME PARK AT MILFORD AND MIDDLE ROADS. 80 
            PERCENT OF MOBILE HOMES DAMAGED WITH BROKEN WINDOWS.

0435 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 WNW CHELSEA           42.33N 84.10W 
07/27/2014                   WASHTENAW          MI   AMATEUR RADIO   

            TREES AND LARGE LIMBS DOWN BLOCKING THE ROAD. SHERIFF ON 
            THE SCENE.

0435 PM     HAIL             3 SSE ROSE CENTER       42.69N 83.58W 
07/27/2014  E1.25 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            AT DUCK LAKE RD AND M-59

0435 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 S MOUNT FOREST        43.83N 84.11W 
07/27/2014                   BAY                MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            POWER LINES DOWN.

0438 PM     HAIL             5 NNE MILFORD           42.66N 83.56W 
07/27/2014  M1.00 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            MEASURED IN WHITE LAKE TWP

0440 PM     HAIL             5 NE MILFORD            42.63N 83.52W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   NWS EMPLOYEE    

            MEASURED IN WHITE LAKE TWP

0440 PM     HAIL             4 SE ROSE CENTER        42.69N 83.57W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0442 PM     HAIL             WHITE LAKE              42.65N 83.50W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0443 PM     HAIL             5 ENE MILFORD           42.61N 83.51W 
07/27/2014  M1.75 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   AMATEUR RADIO   

            MEASURED AT BOGIE LK AND COOLEY LK ROADS

0445 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 W ALGONAC             42.63N 82.62W 
07/27/2014                   ST. CLAIR          MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            LARGE LIMBS DOWN

0449 PM     TSTM WND GST     WATERFORD               42.66N 83.39W 
07/27/2014  M62.00 MPH       OAKLAND            MI   ASOS            

            MEASURED AT PONTIAC OAKLAND COUNTY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 
            /KPTK/

0450 PM     MARINE TSTM WIND 12 NNW BAY PARK         43.81N 83.72W 
07/27/2014  M41.00 MPH       LHZ422             MI   BUOY            

            MEASURED AT SAGINAW BAY LIGHT

0450 PM     HAIL             WATERFORD               42.66N 83.39W 
07/27/2014  M1.00 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            MEASURED AT AIRPORT ROAD AND M-59

0500 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 SW PONTIAC            42.63N 83.32W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   PUBLIC          

            MULTIPLE LIMBS DOWN AT TELEGRAPH AND VOORHIES. RELAYED 
            VIA TWITTER.

0500 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 N SAGINAW             43.45N 83.94W 
07/27/2014                   SAGINAW            MI   PUBLIC          

            TREE UPROOTED

0500 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 NW HEMLOCK            43.46N 84.29W 
07/27/2014                   SAGINAW            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            10 INCH DIAMETER BRANCH TOOK DOWN POWERLINE ACROSS FROST 
            ROAD

0500 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 WSW PONTIAC           42.61N 83.38W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            6 INCH LIMB DOWN AT WEST BLOOMFIELD AND CASS LAKE ROAD

0500 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 W WARREN              42.49N 83.11W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            TREE FELL ONTO HOUSE.

0502 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 SW PONTIAC            42.60N 83.37W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            4 INCH DIAMETER BRANCHES DOWN AT CASS LAKE AND ORCHARD 
            LAKE ROADS

0505 PM     TSTM WND GST     CHESANING               43.18N 84.12W 
07/27/2014  E60.00 MPH       SAGINAW            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0505 PM     HAIL             4 SSE PONTIAC           42.60N 83.25W 
07/27/2014  M1.00 INCH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            AT SQUARE LAKE AND OPDYKE

0505 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 SSE PONTIAC           42.60N 83.25W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            LARGE LIMBS DOWN ON I-75 SOUTH OF SQUARE LAKE ROAD

0507 PM     TSTM WND DMG     5 NNE CHESANING         43.25N 84.10W 
07/27/2014                   SAGINAW            MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            BARN ROOF TORN OFF, TREES UPROOTED. FERGUS RD IN ST 
            CHARLES

0507 PM     TSTM WND DMG     5 NNE CHESANING         43.25N 84.09W 
07/27/2014                   SAGINAW            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            POWER LINES DOWN FOR ONE HALF MILE AND DAMAGE TO PORCH AT
            BIRCH RUN AND STEWART

0510 PM     TSTM WND GST     BLOOMFIELD HILLS        42.58N 83.25W 
07/27/2014  E70.00 MPH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            AT SQUARE LAKE AND WOODWARD

0510 PM     TSTM WND GST     5 SSE PONTIAC           42.58N 83.25W 
07/27/2014  M53.00 MPH       OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            NUMEROUS 1 FOOT LIMBS DOWN NEAR SQUARE LAKE AND OPDYKE

0514 PM     TSTM WND DMG     MADISON HEIGHTS         42.50N 83.10W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            LARGE TREE LIMBS DOWN AT 12 MILE AND DEQUINDRE

0515 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 NW SAGINAW            43.44N 83.98W 
07/27/2014                   SAGINAW            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            15 INCH DIAMETER LIMB DOWN

0515 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 ENE SOUTHFIELD        42.49N 83.18W 
07/27/2014                   OAKLAND            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            ONE LARGE LIMB DOWN AT STANFORD AND CAMBRIDGE IN BERKLEY

0520 PM     HAIL             NORTH BRANCH            43.23N 83.19W 
07/27/2014  M1.25 INCH       LAPEER             MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            FELL FOR 7 MINUTES AT HALF DOLLAR SIZE. ALSO 45 MPH GUST.


0530 PM     TSTM WND GST     3 SE BIRCH RUN          43.22N 83.75W 
07/27/2014  E60.00 MPH       GENESEE            MI   911 CALL CENTER 

0530 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 N WYANDOTTE           42.23N 83.16W 
07/27/2014                   WAYNE              MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            LARGE BRANCH DOWN ON POWERLINES

0530 PM     HAIL             1 ENE WARREN            42.50N 83.01W 
07/27/2014  M1.00 INCH       MACOMB             MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            AT MARTIN AND HOOVER

0537 PM     HAIL             SHELBY TOWNSHIP         42.67N 83.03W 
07/27/2014  M1.00 INCH       MACOMB             MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            25 MILE AND JEWELL

0540 PM     MARINE TSTM WIND 2 SE ST. CLAIR SHORES   42.47N 82.87W 
07/27/2014  M46.00 MPH       LCZ460             MI   C-MAN STATION   

0546 PM     TSTM WND GST     3 ESE MOUNT CLEMENS     42.58N 82.83W 
07/27/2014  E65.00 MPH       MACOMB             MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            TREES SNAPPED AND UPROOTED AT METRO VILLA DR AND NORTH 
            POINTE PKWY IN HARRISON TWP

0546 PM     MARINE TSTM WIND 3 ENE MOUNT CLEMENS     42.61N 82.83W 
07/27/2014  M46.00 MPH       MACOMB             MI   AWOS            

            MEASURED AT SELFRIDGE ANGB /KMTC/

0546 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 SE MOUNT CLEMENS      42.57N 82.85W 
07/27/2014                   MACOMB             MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            LARGE TREE FELL ONTO HOUSE. MULTIPLE LARGE TREE LIMBS 
            ALSO DOWN.

0547 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 ESE MOUNT CLEMENS     42.59N 82.81W 
07/27/2014                   MACOMB             MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            TREE LIMBS GREATER THAN ONE FOOT DIAMETER DOWN NEAR METRO
            BEACH IN HARRISON TWP

0553 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 NW OTISVILLE          43.18N 83.54W 
07/27/2014                   GENESEE            MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            TREES DOWN UP TO 3 FEET IN DIAMETER ON M-57 BETWEEN IRISH
            RD AND M-15

0553 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 ESE TECUMSEH          42.00N 83.91W 
07/27/2014                   LENAWEE            MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            TREE DOWN AT M50 AND BILLMYER RD

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       STERLING HEIGHTS        42.58N 83.03W 
07/27/2014  M1.50 INCH       MACOMB             MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            1 HOUR TOTAL AT 18 MILE AND RYAN

0600 PM     TSTM WND DMG     BROWN CITY              43.21N 82.99W 
07/27/2014                   SANILAC            MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            LIMBS DOWN AND POWER OUTAGES

0600 PM     MARINE TSTM WIND 1 SSE PORT SANILAC      43.42N 82.54W 
07/27/2014  M46.00 MPH       SANILAC            MI   BUOY            

0621 PM     HAIL             MANCHESTER              42.15N 84.04W 
07/27/2014  E1.00 INCH       WASHTENAW          MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

0625 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 ENE CARLETON          42.08N 83.28W 
07/27/2014                   MONROE             MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            TREES DOWN NEAR TELEGRAPH AND ARMSTRONG

0630 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 W CHELSEA             42.31N 84.09W 
07/27/2014                   WASHTENAW          MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            10 INCH DIAMETER LIMB DOWN

0646 PM     TSTM WND DMG     CHELSEA                 42.31N 84.02W 
07/27/2014                   WASHTENAW          MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            3 FOOT DIAMETER TREE DOWN ON A HOUSE AT JEFFERSON AND 
            EAST

0651 PM     TSTM WND GST     3 NE ANN ARBOR          42.31N 83.69W 
07/27/2014  E60.00 MPH       WASHTENAW          MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            AT GREEN AND PLYMOUTH

0651 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 NE ANN ARBOR          42.30N 83.70W 
07/27/2014                   WASHTENAW          MI   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            14 INCH TREE LIMB REPORTED DOWN.

0700 PM     MARINE TSTM WIND 10 SSE STONY POINT      41.82N 83.19W 
07/27/2014  M39.00 MPH       LEZ162             MI   C-MAN STATION   

0704 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 SSE WHITMORE LAKE     42.38N 83.72W 
07/27/2014                   WASHTENAW          MI   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            10 TREES DOWN BLOCKING ROAD

0717 PM     TSTM WND DMG     NORTHVILLE              42.44N 83.49W 
07/27/2014                   WAYNE              MI   911 CALL CENTER 

            A COUPLE OF DOWNED TREES

0753 PM     MARINE TSTM WIND GROSSE ILE              42.13N 83.15W 
07/27/2014  M43.00 MPH       WAYNE              MI   AWOS            


7/27/14- Update
No severe weather erupted on Saturday nor Saturday night as the most unstable air remained south over the Ohio Valley. There still is a risk of severe weather on Sunday and a strong cold front pushes southeast across the region by Sunday afternoon.

Original - 7/24/14

On a completely different weather note; the potential for severe weather this weekend (7/26-27) has increased with the last few model outputs and certainly bears monitoring.

All models (GFS, NAM & EURO) strongly intimate the risk of severe weather across the southern Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley. Impressive instability, strong shear and other dynamics seem to be coming together in this region Saturday into Sunday. It looks as though some area(s) will be clobbered by severe thunderstorms and possibly even a few tornadoes. 

Here in Southeast Michigan we will be on the northern side of this system with the greatest risk of severe weather across northern Illinois into northern Indiana and Ohio. However, this system has the potential to drive the severe weather into the southern tier of Lower Michigan. At this early juncture; the highest risk of severe weather will be Saturday into Saturday Night. Sunday too could bring another round of at least strong to severe storms with the final push of the next cool air mass. If this trend continues; updates will be forthcoming!

Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian


7/16/14

NICE AND BRIGHT TO BLACK AS NIGHT; THE JULY 16TH, 1980 DERECHO

Step back in time on the 34th anniversary of one of the most notable derechos ever to clobber Southeast Lower Michigan from Ann Arbor into Metro Detroit; The July 16th 1980 Derecho!
 

NICE AND BRIGHT TO BLACK AS NIGHT!

THE JULY 16TH, 1980, DERECHO

Written by: William R. Deedler, Weather Historian
Originally written:
July 22nd, 2005 
 
The word "derecho" may sound unfamiliar or its use in meteorology relatively recent in nature, but the word actually was brought into meteorological vernacular way back in 1888. Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs, a physics professor at the University of Iowa, was given that credit when he used the word, derecho, in a paper he had published in the American Meteorological Journal in 1888. Dr Hinrichs chose this terminology for thunderstorm induced straight-line winds as an analog to the word tornado. Derecho is a Spanish word which can be defined as "direct" or "straight ahead" while tornado is thought by some, including Dr. Hinrichs, to have been derived from the Spanish word "tornar" which means "to turn". This definition and other derecho facts are taken from the Storm Prediction Center's About Derechos web page, which contains many interesting facts and background studies about derechos.

Even though the term "derecho" dates back well over a century, it has only been relatively recent (since the 1980s) that more investigative studies and research has greatly increased our knowledge about these types of storms. Derechos are associated with a line of showers or thunderstorms that are often "curved" in shape on radar and satellite. These bowed out storms are called "bow echoes". A derecho can be associated with a single bow echo or multiple bow echoes. By definition winds in a derecho must meet the National Weather Service criterion for severe wind gusts (greater than 57 mph) at most points along the derecho path. In the stronger derecho events winds can exceed 100 mph.

Southeast Lower Michigan has had several derechos in the past, but certainly one of the more memorable ones plowed through extreme Southern Michigan during the forenoon hours of Wednesday, July 16th, 1980.

Summer of '80 starts out on a chilly note

The Summer of 1980 actually hadn't been much of a summer as far as warm temperatures and dry weather were concerned. The summer had been unseasonably cool and soggy into early July. June's average temperature was a relatively chilly 63.7 degrees, making it the eighth coolest June on record at Detroit. To add insult to injury, not only had June been cool, it also had been very wet. June's monthly rainfall totaled up to nearly six and a half inches /6.42"/, making it the sixth wettest June on record, which undoubtedly made the month seem even worse.

While the first few weeks of July averaged a bit below normal, some good ole' fashion summer-time heat finally began to bubble up into the region by mid month. Hot and unstable air pushed its way north into the Great Lakes by the 15th as temperatures surged into the lower to mid 90s. Up until that time, only once before had temperatures pushed up into the 90s that summer. The arrival of the hot and humid air mass set off some scattered showers and thunderstorms on the 15th, but really nothing of consequence compared to what would generate to the west overnight.

Birth of a Hybrid Derecho 

 

Surface map from 8 am EDT, July 16th, 1980; click on image to enlarge A low pressure area with attending warm and cold fronts (map-2) pushing through the Upper Midwest was responsible in igniting the derecho at the surface late on the 15th. Thunderstorms developing over extreme Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois during the very early morning hours of the 16th, intensified and formed into a squall line that pushed through Northern Illinois between 3 AM and 5 AM EDT. The storms were spawned out ahead of the frontal system as it approached northern Illinois, mainly ahead of the triple point juncture and nearly perpendicular to the warm front. At the same time, a potent mid level short wave (map-3) and wind max (approx 60-70 knots) surged east across the Upper Midwest toward the Southern Great Lakes.

Nice and Bright to Black as Night

The derecho surged quickly east across Northern Indiana and Southern Lake Michigan with a measured wind gust of 98 mph at the St. Joseph Coast Guard as it blasted onshore in Southwest Lower Michigan! While the sky was relatively bright at sunrise over Southeast Lower Michigan, a band of foreboding clouds advanced in quickly from the west, covering the celestial dome. As the forceful storms and associated hurricane force winds approached the area, several observers remarked about the horrid dark green color the sky took on as the squall moved overhead. In fact, numerous people over the years have commented about the "dark pea green sky" that accompanied the July 16th 1980 storm. The green color in the sky may have been reflective of the low sun angle at the time (the derecho moved through region between 730 and 930 AM EDT) and abundance of moisture in the low clouds. It got so dark that many street lights were triggered and popped on over portions of the region. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued over the region though some remarked: "it happened so quickly and early in the day, it caught us off guard".

The hardest hit regions across Southeast Lower Michigan were Washtenaw and Wayne counties, extending mainly from the Ann Arbor area east into southern sections of Detroit (or south of the Ford Road /M-153/ corridor). While the wind officially gusted to 71 mph at Detroit Metro Airport, much higher winds were reported in other areas (see storm report below) in the strongest core of the derecho.

As one person who witnessed the swath of damage across southern portions of Washtenaw and Wayne counties, the following excerpts from storm data relay the incredible outcome of the storm. In the storm data below, the derecho is referred to as a downburst. In addition, the derecho was accompanied by a small tornado as it exited extreme Southeast Lower Michigan. Tornadoes can occur in isolated thunderstorm supercells ahead of the derecho producing squall line or they may be associated with the squall line itself.


STORM DATA
Counties in
SE Mich
Date
7/16/80
Time
830-920AM EDT

Washtenaw
Wayne
Monroe
"Intense downburst developed just west of Ann Arbor. Path of the most intense damage across southern Ann Arbor then eastward through the Downriver suburbs of Detroit. Winds estimated up to 100 mph in Washtenaw county, up to 150 mph in Wayne County. Innumerable buildings, vehicles and trees destroyed in eastern Washtenaw, central and southern Wayne, and northeastern Monroe counties. Several boats were swamped on the Detroit River. Power off in some areas up to ten days."

Downriver CommunitiesDate
7/16/80
Time
910 AM EDT

Allen Park, Lincoln Park, and Ecorse, in Wayne county "Railroad cars blown off track in both directions in Allen Park. Department store roof blown sideways in Lincoln Park. Funnel sighted over Detroit River from Canadian shore. Tornado damage included in, and hardly distinguishable from large area of straight line wind damage. Funnel continued eastward several more miles into Canada".
It's amazing that after reading about the force of the wind and subsequent damage, that only one person - a woman - was reported injured in sort of a freak accident when the wind forced her into a revolving door! Note the following that was taken from "Derecho Hazards in the United States" by Walker S. Asley, Climatology Research Laboratory at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. It gives an interesting account of the July 16th,1980 Derecho storm damage relative to other storm damage.

Fujita and Wakimoto (1981) provided extensive documentation of the 16 July 1980 derecho that produced widespread damage across large areas of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. They indicated that this storm produced approximately $650 million in damage as it traversed the four-state region. Accounting for inflation (to 2003 dollars), this storm produced an estimated $1.3 billion in damage from strictly straight-line winds. This estimate exceeds many damage tallies from U.S. hurricanes and is larger than the inflation-adjusted damage estimates from all major tornadoes that have affected the U.S. since 1890 (Brooks and Doswell 2001). This single event illustrates that derecho damage can exceed the damage from most hurricanes and tornado events affecting the contiguous U.S.

Graph of wind gusts by month for the U.S.; click on image to enlarge Note the graph to the right which displays monthly damaging wind events in the U.S. July and June are the top months for wind storms. Many of these wind storms occur as derechos over the Great Lakes states (Johns and Hirt, 1987).






More on the Derecho by Dr. Fujita in 1981
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/misc/AbtDerechos/papers/Fujita_1981.pdf

Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler - SEMI_WeatherHistorian

7/9/14

Extended Models Continue To Project Outstanding Dynamic System For Mid Summer!

Quick Update 7/13----

From;

EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
1140 AM EDT SUN JUL 13 2014
 
BIG STORY CONTINUES TO BE THE ANOMALOUS COOLING IN THE CENTRAL
PLAINS AND TOWARD THE EAST... WITH 850 TEMP STND ANOMALIES IN THE
-3 TO -3.5 RANGE YIELDING SFC TEMPS ABOUT 20-30F COOLER THAN
AVERAGE. DAILY RECORD COOL HIGH TEMPS SHOULD BE CHALLENGED IN MANY
LOCATIONS. 
 
Strong dynamics and cold air aloft should produce scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm
mainly Monday but generally sinking air, limited instability and moisture will keep a cap on anything 
severe. High temperatures at their coldest will be in the 60s; while lows dip into the upper 40s to lower 50s. 
 
Look for more typical summer time temperatures that are closer to normal to return by the weekend.


Quick Update 7/12-----

General consensus of model and numerical guidance remains similar to that of last few days. Best chance for storms, possibly strong to severe, will be late overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. Variably cloudy skies with instability showers and isolated storms, along with gusty winds, can be expected Monday into Wednesday as the cold air aloft and at the surface overspreads Southeast Lower Michigan. Coldest temperatures still appear Tuesday into Wednesday with overnight lows falling into the upper 40s to lower 50s...and highs in the 60s.

Update 7/10----

Latest guidance from both GFS and Euro continue to amplify intense vortex diving out of Canada and into the upper Great Lakes states Sunday night through Wednesday. If anything, the latest GFS is a bit stronger with the system with very impressive wind max jet cores and cold temperatures aloft by summer standards.

As the colder air and front approaches Sunday night into Monday showers and thunderstorms will be likely and, depending on the environment instability, some could be strong to severe but at this early juncture strongest storm potential appear to be w and south of the region but this bears watching since close.

After; a high altitude jet stream core flirting with 140 knots is now projected by the GFS model Tuesday afternoon over the region! This max wind aloft is even notable for winter standards let alone summer. Of course it's early, but winds in excess of 100 knots seem likely anyway over the Great lakes region given the dynamics and strength of the system the past several runs. In addition; upper level heights /500 MB/ are now forecasted to hover near the all time record low for July ~ 558 dm over Southeast Lower Michigan recorded in upper air data.




Fortunately with limited instability in place, showers and isolated storms with moderate squalls would be expected. Winds closer to the ground in the 5 to 10 thousand denoting possible gusts range in the 30 to 50 mph, but again this is still up in the air - pun intended. How much wind is realized and the surface will be largely dependent on; how much sunshine and instability is realized, how much convection will be able to develop along with how much of the stronger winds are able to mix down to the surface.

Here is the surface map Tue Morning; note the "cool season-like" low pressure developing over the eastern Great Lakes on jet core/dynamics aloft. In addition, the large extensive cool high pressure and air mass for mid summer, pushing overnight lows down into the 40s and 50s over a large portion of the interior part of the country.



 Note the single digit 850 MB temps @ 5K FT Tue Eve


The large cool high pressure and air mass for mid summer extends far south to near the gulf states; a feat hard to come by in mid summer. Overnight lows over a huge portion for the country are in the 40s and 50s...more typical of early October weather.

Yes indeed; this Polar Vortex won't give up the ship in the normally warmest time of the summer!



Coldest of air over Southeast Lower Michigan still appears to be from Tuesday into Wednesday with possibly Thursday morning as well. Little change in original thinking as highest temperatures during Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon look to be in the upper 50s to mid 60s across Southeast Lower Michigan, while lowest temperatures in the mid 40s to the lower 50s.

We'll have more time to zero in on this system over the weekend.

Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian
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Original 7/9/14----

Ironically, just over six months to the date of the first notable visit of the winter polar vortex (this is nothing new of course; happens every year but with varying intensities); she is expected to make a return visit mid summer. What IS impressive on this visit (not unlike her past winter visits) is the depth and position south. At early inspection, the upper low "polar vortex" is expected to average around 3 deviations BELOW average for a summer type upper low over the upper Great Lakes. Along with the fanfare of her arrival will be strong upper winds /jet stream/ and possibly some tough weather in the form of wind storms with such impressive energy at and above ground level. When such cold air (for  summer standards) rudely plows into even temperate summer like temperatures (in this case 70s to lower 80s), something's got to give.

The two questions are when and where the best clash of the notably different atmospheres will be; which will be involving very impressive dynamics and instability levels at the time. It's much too early to give an exact timing but an estimate seems to be in the late Sunday into Monday time frame for it's arrival - and early - mid week when she spins up over southern Canada and northern Great Lakes. Even at this time, if available moisture is in place, it wouldn't take much to pop a gusty storm or shower with such cold conditions aloft along with the impressive strong winds. 






Projections for upper heights and widespread low level cool temperatures are some of the best (lowest) I've seen for mid July. Upper low height projections are sub 550 MB /546 MB/ on the GFS along with 850 MB temperature projections in the single digits. At the coolest (preliminary timing; Tuesday night-Wednesday morning) widespread overnight lows in the 40s to lower 50s are likely across Southeast Lower Michigan with highs around 60 to the mid 60s. If these temperatures are realized, both record low maxs and record low mins may be in jeopardy. Record low max's for mid July are in around 60 to mid 60s across the region, while record lows are in the 40s to near 50.  One glaring exception is a record low max of just 74 degrees in Flint on the 16th, much higher than other record low maxs from the 14th thru the 16th.

Its too early to predict the exact coolness of the air mass due over the area early-mid week during next week but model projections have been pretty well unanimous on this summer cool outbreak - it is coming with the particulars yet to unfold. If you are heading up north this weekend and plan to stay awhile pack for fall-like weather for a few days - LOL- really not a bad idea in Southeast Michigan too.

Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian