WEST MICHIGAN - The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has, so far, confirmed two tornadoes in West Michigan that occurred Saturday evening. The first one was located in Barry County...not far from the Hickory Corners area around Little Long Lake in Prairieville Township. The second was around the Morley area in Mecosta County.
We talked in detail about the first tornado and showed damage from it on FOX 17 morning news. To see that story and video, click here. To recap, a tornado warning was issued in Barry County at 6:56 P.M. Saturday evening. Radar was indicating strong rotation is a cell moving through that area. Upon completion of a survey by the NWS, an EF-0 tornado with 75 mph winds was confirmed at 7:08 P.M., was on the ground for about four tenths of a mile, and lifted at 7:10 P.M..
The tornado occurred on the north side of Little Long Lake just south/west of Hickory Corners. Maximum width was 100 yards (the length of a football field). The NWS stated " this was a well-photographed supercell thunderstorm which produced a wall cloud and brief funnel clouds over northern Kalamazoo County. Recall that a supercell thunderstorm is one with a rotating updraft. This cell also prompted a tornado warning in southern Calhoun County at 7:27 P.M.. Damage surveys are in the process of being conducted by the NWS and information will likely be forthcoming on Monday.
Tornado number two occurred around the Morley area in Mecosta County. A tornado warning was issued for parts of Mecosta County at 7:53 P.M., which included the Lakeview and Morley areas. According to the NWS, damage they found just south/east of Morley was consistent with that of a tornado. The most intense damage occurred around the intersection of Washington Road and 137th Avenue...about 4.5 miles southeast of Morley. Their damage survey revealed concentrated tree damage with variable directions in which they fell and wind convergence consistent with a tornado. A double-wide pre-fabricated mobile home secured with a steel cable was "disintegrated" with the underlying steel frame found about 200 feet to the east. There were also 4 X 4 beams lofted into the air and driven into a field just west of some damaged structures. An EF damage rating has not yet been assigned to this storm, but is expected to be completed on Monday upon complete review of NWS findings.
The photo attached to this story was snapped at the Butler Speedway by Mary McComb. Clearly shows the supercell thunderstorm and wall cloud. The photo below was of the same cell and was taken by Tracy Carter.
Additional storm surveys are being conducted by the National Weather Service in Jackson County and Clinton County. In fact, an EF-0 tornado with winds from 65 to 80 mph has been confirmed in Jackson County.
While we don't expect severe weather this week, some storms over the next few days may be strong to possibly severe, but the bigger threat will be more heavy rain on an already saturated ground. We have one FLOOD WARNING in effect for the Rogue River in Kent County, but several rivers are staring to run high...including the Grand River through Kent County. Several more rounds of storms with heavy rain are likely this week with a frontal boundary draped over the state. Get the complete forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.