June 8, 2008 – Deadly Thunderstorms

June 8, 2008 – Deadly Thunderstorms

posted in: Weather Forecast, Weather History | 11

Two rounds of severe thunderstorms occurred within 24 hours on June 7 and 8, 2008. These storms produced flooding, strong winds, and tornadoes across Lower Michigan. Eight people died in Michigan as a result of these storms.  Below are the storm report graphics and Radar. (click to enlarge)

June 7 2008
June 7 2008
June 8 2008
June 8 2008

June 8 Radar
June 8 Radar

Flash flooding occurred the night of June 7-8. Hardest hit was the Holland to Saugatuck area, where as much as 5 inches of rain fell in 6 hours. Cars were submerged to their roofs on US-31 in Holland. Several roadways in Allegan county were destroyed and washed away in the dark of night.

A line of severe thunderstorms then moved through much of Lower Michigan the afternoon of June 8. The storms were moving at 50-60 mph and knocked down a number of trees with straight-line winds around 60-80 mph. Two tornadoes embedded in this storm line formed within the state, both rated EF1 (maximum winds between 86 and 110 mph). One tornado struck near Hersey to Evart in Osceola County, and the other tornado formed south of Grand Ledge in Eaton County, then moved into the west side of Lansing in Ingham County. The tornadoes were moving at 50-60 mph and were often times difficult or impossible to see amidst the heavy rain.

The storms killed a number of people in Michigan. Their stories remind us of the multiple dangers severe weather can pose.

  • Clarissa Green and Dean Taylor died in the pre-dawn hours of June 8, when their car fell into a deep ravine carved by flood waters that destroyed the roadway of Lakeshore Drive, in Saugatuck Township, Allegan County.
  • John Pekich died on June 8 while tending to the the swollen creek at the Worley Drain Dam in Robinson Township, Ottawa County.
  • Chad Dushane died the afternoon of June 8 when severe thunderstorm winds caused a large tree limb to fall on his car in Spring Lake, Ottawa County.
  • Ursula Swidewinski died the afternoon of June 8 when severe thunderstorm winds knocked down a tree as she went out to secure her pole barn near Crockery Lake, in Chester Twp, Ottawa County.
  • A woman died the afternoon of June 8 when a camper trailer overturned onto her as a tornado and strong winds tore through her neighborhood, in Delta Twp, Eaton County.
  • Jason Amy and Rachelle Schloegl died on June 10 from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator that was running in a basement during a power outage, in Argentine Twp, Genessee County.

Lakeshore Drive in Saugatuck Twp (Allegan County) was washed away by flash flooding after several inches of rain fell in a matter of hours the night of June 7-8, 2008. Flash flooding at night is especially dangerous and deadly, as washed-out roadways and deep swift-flowing water may not be visible.
Lakeshore Drive in Saugatuck Twp (Allegan County) was washed away by flash flooding after several inches of rain fell in a matter of hours the night of June 7-8, 2008. Flash flooding at night is especially dangerous and deadly, as washed-out roadways and deep swift-flowing water may not be visible.
Flooding in Holland at US-31 & E 40th St, the morning of June 8, 2008.
Flooding in Holland at US-31 & E 40th St, the morning of June 8, 2008.
A destroyed barn south of Grand Ledge and west of Lansing in Eaton County, from the June 8, 2008 tornado.
A destroyed barn south of Grand Ledge and west of Lansing in Eaton County, from the June 8, 2008 tornado.

Forecast Maps

HRRR and Futurecast models runs are for 18 hours beginning at 7am – a second model run begins at 3pm

 






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(click images to enlarge)

Marquette
Marquette
Gaylord
Gaylord
Detroit
Detroit
Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids

Rainfall
Rainfall
Dew Points
Dew Points
Cloud Cover
Cloud Cover
Wind Gusts
Wind Gusts

SHORT TERM…

Only forecast issue in the near term is timing and coverage of POPs with weak front pushing through tonight and Friday. Chance POPs should suffice as model soundings show limited instability and lift. Thunderstorm potential is also diminished by lack of upper level forcing for deep ascent. The front should wash out over the area on Friday with a few showers lingering into the evening across southern and eastern zones. .

Chances of rain are around 30% so consider yourself blessed if you get any, even then the amounts will be around 1/10th of an inch or less for most areas. 

LONG TERM…

Backed off a bit on the heat through the first half of next week. Michigan remains within the westerlies, with the core of the upper ridge, and the heat holding just south of Michigan. Another factor that will possibly come into play will be MCSs tracking over the Northern Great Lakes resulting in periodic debris clouds coming into SW MI.

This scenario is looking more likely into Sunday morning when we may start the day off rather cloudy from I-96 and north. I would also like to see H8 temps at least into the low 20Cs to forecast 90+, but they stay 17C to 19C Sunday through Wednesday, showing a slightly cooler trend in the models.

Even so, it will be warm, with daily highs of 85 to 90, with a touch of humidity. As for rain chances, there is an outside chance portions of Central Lower may see a few showers or storms from MCSs Saturday night through Sunday night, but the bulk of this activity should remain north.

So most areas stay dry through Tuesday. Then by Tuesday night and Wednesday the upper ridge finally drifts east which should result in less capping. With Gulf moisture already in place, and a possible low level jet triggering convection, rain chances should increase late Tuesday night into Wednesday.


11 on "June 8, 2008 – Deadly Thunderstorms"

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SlimJim

Nice info on the events of June 8, 2008.
SlimJim

SlimJim
I see the updated forecast has back off on the warm temperatures for next week! Here in Michigan we have several reasons why we do not typically have a lot of very hot days (over 90°) 1. Being as far north as we are is one. 2. The great lakes… Read more »
Mookie

The heat wave is increasing! WOOD now has 87, 90, 92, 92, 94 starting Saturday.

Mark (East Lansing)

Interesting that the NWS has backed off on their temps. Our local met (the one I tend to trust the most for my area) has 87, 92, 93, 92, 89.

SlimJim
We will have to see how this plays out. If it stays dry and clear there is a better chance of the days being warmer. One thing to keep in mind is that “heat waves” in Michigan are not that common. The bench mark one for early/mid June at GR… Read more »
Mookie

Biggest early June heatwave since 1933? The long hot summer is starting!

SlimJim
Not sure where you got that information from, just last year June had two days in a row of 90° days on June 10th and 11th, and in June 2011 GR had highs of 91,86,86,94,and 93 on June 4 to the 8th. So far this year the warmest day this… Read more »
Mookie

Looks like we could exceed both of those events you cited

Mark (East Lansing)

We just returned home from a long walk. Beautiful evening and spectacular moon.

Sandy (Hudsonville)

You have to love summer nights like these. Last night we saw the ISS go over. It was awesome. The moon was so bright too.

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