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Weather

Detroit keeps flooding. What's being done about it?

Sep 29, 2016
Detroit residential street flooding.
Ahmad Hicks

Detroit is once again dealing with flash floods after an intense rainfall Thursday.

Infrastructure issues are a big part of why the area has experienced serious flooding multiple times in the past two years, most notably after a 2014 flood that caused damage across the metro Detroit area. 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Severe weather is slamming parts of western Michigan as storms move east across the state.

National Weather Service meteorologist T.J. Turnage says Saturday that officials have seen "indications of tornados on radar, and very good indications they have occurred and debris lifted up with them."

Turnage says parts of Allegan and Kent counties, and the outskirts of Grand Rapids are seeing some of the worst weather.

2016 continues its record-setting heat streak this week

Jul 20, 2016
Michigan sunrise
FLICKER USER JULIE FALK https://flic.kr/p/bsL795

If you like it hot, you're in luck.

If you can't stand to sweat, it might be time to crank up the air conditioning or head to the nice cool basement.

Michigan's going to be so hot over the next few days, it's being called the "Ring of Fire."

An unusually dry, hot June is hurting crops across the Midwest, including Michigan.

Everything from beans to sugar beets to wheat is suffering, says Kate Krepps of the Michigan Farm Bureau.

"It's been a strange year," says Krepps.  "We had such a wet beginning, so it was really challenging for folks to get crops in the field in a lot of different areas, particularly in southern Michigan.  And then they got them in the field, and we haven't had much rain since then."

The situation could reduce yields and profits for the roughly 75,000 people who farm in the state.

Flickr user pcurtner/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

For most of Michigan, this has been one of the driest starts to summer we’ve seen in a long time.

With Fourth of July coming up, there are concerns about fires in these dry conditions.

For this reason, Julie Secontine, the State Fire Marshal, has been considering banning fireworks this Fourth of July.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Across Michigan, sirens will wail this afternoon

This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan.

This afternoon at 1:30, there will be a voluntary statewide tornado drill.

“Tornadoes can develop rapidly, with little or no warning,” says Capt. Chris Kelenske of the Michigan State Police, who is the deputy state director of emergency management and Homeland Security. 

 

The Ann Arbor city council has asked its Environmental Commission to review whether it should ask the U.S. EPA to order a Superfund cleanup of groundwater contamination.

A plume of groundwater contaminated with 1,4 dioxane from the city's now-closed Pall Gelman plant is spreading from the city limits towards Ann Arbor Township, Scio Township, as well as towards the Huron River.  

cohdra / morgueFile

More than a hundred thousand people are still without electricity, after high winds yesterday downed power lines across the state.

And some of them may remain in the dark for a few days.

Altogether more than 140,000 customers lost power.

Consumers Energy customers got hit hardest. More than 120,000 of them lost power. Outages were concentrated in the Grand Rapids and Cadillac areas. As of 4:45 p.m. Thursday, there were 99,409 customers till without electricity.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Authorities have responded to numerous crashes during snow squalls across Michigan, including a pileup involving several dozen cars.

  The Grand Rapids Press reports white-out conditions Friday afternoon on U.S. 31 north of Grand Rapids led to a chain-reaction crash of roughly 50 vehicles. A stretch of the freeway was closed.

Your photos of this weekend's record breaking snowfall

Nov 23, 2015
Our staff shared some snow photos too, including this beautiful shot of sunrise and snow.
Michigan Radio

Saturday's snowstorm broke records across Michigan.

Howell got the most snow with 16.8 inches, but most of us woke up to a snowy blanket. Chilly, yes, but drifting flakes on Saturday and a sunny Sunday made for a beautiful first snowfall. 

Here's what you shared with us on Instagram and Twitter

A few photos of this week's rolling waves

Nov 13, 2015
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Heavy wind made for surprisingly Instagramable "bad weather" this week. Here are some photos from Instagram for those of you who couldn't see the waves in person:

We might get 20 foot waves in Lake Michigan this week

Nov 11, 2015

Those gales of November are coming in full force tonight.

The National Weather Service issued a notice that predicts waves up to 20 feet high in Lake Michigan over the next few days.

Split Rock Lighthouse - The Annual Lighting to Commemorate the Loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Pete Markham/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Did you know the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a fierce storm on November 10, 1975?

As Gordon Lightfoot wrote in his song about the Fitzgerald, which sank in the waters of Lake Superior:

That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

What's with these powerful winds and storms as we move from October to November?

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says a strong El Nino in the Pacific is increasing chances for warmer-than-average temperatures this December through February.
NOAA

Yes, we're expecting freezing temperatures in much of Michigan and even snow in the Upper Peninsula this weekend, but call your bookmaker (or, rather, your weather futures trader) and plop down your bet on what might happen this winter.

Mandy / MorgueFile

The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazards statement through 8 p.m. Monday for the Lake Michigan shoreline in Michigan.

High waves and strong currents, including rip currents, are creating dangerous swimming conditions.

Beaches with particularly dangerous conditions today include:

  • South Beach in South Haven
  • Grand Haven State Park
  • Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon
LadyDragonflyCC - >;< / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

People in Northwest Michigan are still cleaning up the damage from severe storms that caused damage at some of the state's most popular tourist spots.

Hail damaged fruit trees. Nearly 100-mile-an-hour winds damaged homes and other buildings. It caused almost $35 million in damage in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties, according to early estimates.

Lake Improvement Association / Flickr

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that a 2011 algae bloom shut down Toledo's water system. It also incorrectly attributed to Dr. Sonia Joseph-Joshi a statement that this year's blooms are not expected to affect the system.

A growth of harmful algae on Lake Erie has grown larger than last year's bloom, according to the National and Oceanic Atmospheric Adminstration's Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin. 

Wind, rain make a powerful pair as storms hit Michigan

Aug 2, 2015
The Mackinac Bridge on a warmer day.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) - Storms carrying strong winds and rain have pounced on Michigan, cutting power in some areas, snapping trees and knocking over at least one recreational trailer on the Mackinac Bridge.

The bridge connecting the peninsulas was temporarily closed at one point Sunday as winds hit 65 mph. Power outages were reported in the Traverse City area.

Storms rolled into Michigan's thumb region, and forecasters say southeastern Michigan could be vulnerable to high winds throughout the evening.

We're having a heat wave. Yes, a tropical heat wave

Jul 18, 2015
GaborfromHungary / MorgueFile

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory that will be in effect from noon across the region from noon until midnight today. 

High temperatures combined with high humidity will create a heat index of around 100 degrees this afternoon.

West Michigan is also under an air quality alert, which means pollutants are expected to be in the unhealthy range for people with respiratory problems. Weather officials say delaying things like using gas-powered lawn mowers or filling up your car can help lessen pollution.

Strong winds, heavy rains leave many without power

Jun 28, 2015

An update from DTE:  Sunday, June 28, 2015 – 11 a.m. 

DTE continues to make progress in restoring the nearly 150,000 customers who lost electric service Saturday due to sustained, strong winds and heavy rain that knocked down trees and power lines throughout southeast Michigan.

DTE crews have restored service to about 60,000 customers, leaving about 90,000 customers to be restored.

The answer is still forthcoming. So far, the National Weather Service has confirmed one EF-1 tornado that touched down in Portland, Michigan yesterday. More than 50 homes were damaged in Portland and there were no reports of serious injuries.

We're seeing a lot of other reports of damage due to the storms, but determining whether those were caused by a tornado takes some ground truth. 

Hillary Pasternak, student
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Sirens tore through Michigan Monday night, warning of strong thunderstorms and a few tornadoes. As you woke up, groggy at 1:30 a.m., what did you make sure you had before seeking shelter?

We asked a few people what their top three items to save would be.

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has confirmed the damage caused in Portland was from an EF-1 tornado.

Nice weather ... for ducks

May 31, 2015
MorgueFile

Soggy. Drenched. Waterlogged. That sums up the final weekend of May 2015.

It rained intermittently throughout Michigan Saturday, and sometimes the skies opened and it poured.

Parts of Kalamazoo County saw nearly three inches of rain; an inch or more fell through many other areas of the state.

Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most devastating weather events in Michigan history: the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak.

It happened with virtually no warning on April 11, 1965. Killer tornadoes smashed through the Midwest over a 12-hour span, killing 271. Michigan was one of the hardest-hit states with 53 deaths.

Flickr user Mike Gifford / Flickr

One of the realities of spring in Michigan is dicey weather, and May marks the beginning of tornado season in the state. But there's a way for authorities to let us know if severe weather threatens.

It's right there on your smartphone: Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA.

This service came about through an agreement between cell phone providers who voluntarily signed up for this service, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, and a few other federal agencies.

wikimedia

Consumers Energy says the winter of "Polar Vortex 2" broke some natural gas records. 

The utility broke its 1994 record for most natural gas delivered to homes and businesses in a 24 hour period. 

That was on February 19 and 20, when temperatures dropped to 20 below zero overnight. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Next week’s thaw is not expected to result in flooding in Michigan. 

Forecasters predict temperatures to rise into the 40s next week. 

“With the semi-warm temperatures and the cool nights, it doesn’t look like we’re going to see significant flooding across the state of Michigan,” says Michigan State Police spokesman Ron Leix. “Our flood risk is really low this year.”

FLICKR USER MARGARETROSE4 / FLICKR

Mother Nature, with her cold temperatures, is turning out diamond dust in Northern Michigan.

Justin Arnott, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord, described diamond dust as “the wintertime version of fog.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.  - Another round of winter weather is expected to make travel difficult in parts of Michigan as bitterly cold temperatures moderate somewhat.

Temperatures on Tuesday morning ranged from just above zero to the low 20s. It was 6 in Detroit, 7 in Grand Rapids and 17 in Traverse City.

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