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  • The Detroit Free Press

    More thunderstorms expected in Michigan as weather service tries to confirm tornado touchdown

    By Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press,


    Weather watchers were checking early Tuesday whether a weak tornado touched down the night before in Mecosta County, about an hour north of Grand Rapids, where gusts took down trees and appeared to damage a house.

    Thunderstorms swept through the state on Monday night, and meteorologists said more storms are expected Tuesday evening and possibly overnight into Wednesday.

    But changing weather conditions makes it difficult to determine exactly what will unfold.

    "Just pay attention and keep an eye out for any severe thunderstorm warnings that go out," Brian Cromwell, a weather service meteorologist in White Lake Township, said. "If you hear thunder, and you are outside, go indoors."

    Stay safe: How to prepare for a severe thunderstorm or tornado in Michigan

    It looks like it will be a "pretty active week, weather-wise," with the greatest chances for storms on Tuesday and Wednesday, as systems move across the Midwest, Cromwell said. He added that it could even rain during this holiday weekend.

    Severe storms could bring hail and damaging winds that could destroy powerlines, trees, and even homes.

    The weather service and news reports warned Tuesday those living in the Midwest could face a higher risk of tornadoes, hail, and winds, in an area from Kansas City, Missouri, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with alerts in Iowa City and Davenport.

    In Michigan, 18 tornadoes touch down a year on average, resulting in three deaths.

    And on top of the fickle weather this week, many are suffering from pollen allergies , as the allergy season, some experts have said, appears to be increasingly starting sooner, lasting longer and affecting more people.

    Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids could not confirm Monday by radar whether the damaging winds were a tornado touchdown, and, they added that tornadoes can be more difficult to identify in rural areas.

    Instead, they said, they were sending a team to inspect the damage.

    Either way, about 5,000 Consumers Energy customers were still without power by Tuesday morning.

    In southeast Michigan, which got a dousing Monday, forecasters said residents should expect temperatures in the 80s, with thunderstorms likely starting at about 4 p.m. and lasting until about 10 p.m. More storms, they said, could pop up quickly overnight, from 2-4 a.m. Wednesday.

    Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or

    This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: More thunderstorms expected in Michigan as weather service tries to confirm tornado touchdown

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