WEST MICHIGAN--Storms on Sunday evening and night have left more than 47,000 people without power, mainly across northern Muskegon County, northern Ottawa County, and scattered across Newaygo and Kent Counties. The storms came racing across Lake Michigan between 8 and 9 PM Sunday evening with extensive, impressive lightning, very heavy rain, and mainly 50 to 60 mile per hour wind gusts (with isolated higher gusts measured). In fact at one point, almost 2,000 lightning strikes could be seen on radar from Milwaukee through West Michigan.
While we've had some reports of tree limbs down and flooding/ponding on roads, very little has filtered in to our newsroom regarding damage. Most of the repercussions of these storms have simply been power outages. You can click here to see the latest power outage map from Consumer's Energy.
The National Weather Service reports a 68 mph wind gust in Muskegon, and a 69 mph gust in Grand Haven. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa, and Kent Counties for these storms. The possibility of 58 mph wind gusts or greater will trigger a warning. We know that northeast Ottawa County Emergency Management sounded the warning sirens for the possibility of strong, straight line wind damage. We have no confirmation of a tornado, but there was some rotation in a few of these clusters of storms. It is left up to the discretion of each county management and/or fire department whether to sound sirens for only tornadoes, or to include the possibility of strong straight line winds.
The image attached to this story was a photo snapped about 9:30 PM Sunday evening by Jeremy Church in Norton Shores and the storms moved through that area. He calls this a "lucky strike" as his timing to snap it was impeccable!
More hot and humid weather is expected through Tuesday before the heat/humidity start to break Wednesday. Our next best chance of widespread showers and storms will occur Tuesday night in to Wednesday morning as a strong cold front slides through the state. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.