Monday, August 3, 2015

Sunday's Great Lakes Severe Storms Head To Northeast Today

Tornado in Prescott, Iowa Sunday.  
Sunday was quite an active severe weather day around the Great Lakes and into the central Plains states.

There were seven reports of tornadoes, 112 reports of damaging winds and a whopping 284 reports of large hail, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center.

Quite a few areas in southern Ontario, Canada also reported severe weather on Sunday.

In suburban Chicago, one person died and several people injured, some seriously, when a severe thunderstorm blew away a large tent during a local festival.

The largest tornado was in Iowa. Photographs and amateur video show that it was a classic funnel shape, exactly the perfectly formed tornado you'd imagine.

Thankfully, early reports indicate the tornadoes and severe storms did relatively light damage.

The resort town of Glen Arbor, Michigan was also reportedly hit by a tornado.     That storm stranded many campers in the area as all roads were blocked by fallen trees.  

Today, the severe weather shifts into the Northeast, with a focus on western Maine, much of New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and down into parts of Ohio and northeastern Kentucky.

People anywhere in that zone can expect areas of strong winds, large hail and possibly an isolated tornado this afternoon and evening.

As is the case with most severe weather outbreaks, most people in risk zone won't get damaging winds or hail big enough to ding their cars. But some will.
Glen Arbor, Michigan was hit by a tornado Sunday.
Photo by Gabriella Pagan.  

However, even a relatively strong, but not severe storm can be dangerous, and a lot of people will get those.

Which means: Todays a lousy day to take your boat on the water or go hiking on mountain peaks. Save it for another day. Maybe later this week when the weather is better, and cooler.

Get inside when you see dark clouds and hear thunder.

By the way, quit asking precisely when a thunderstorm will roll over your town. Especially if you're asking hours or even days before the potential storms hit. The answer is: Nobody knows. Forecasters are very good at determining the general time frame in which you'll get storms, but not the exact second a storm will hit Podunk or wherever you live.

In northern Vermont for example, the National Weather Service in South Burlington says the best chances of storms are between 2 and 10 p.m. today and I have no doubt they're right about that.

But knowing hours in advance the exact moment a thunderstorm will arrive in any particular town is impossible. Just be aware storms are possible this afternoon and evening, stay tuned for forecast updates and possible storm warnings,  and leave it at that.

Your friendly neighborhood meteorologists and weather geeks will thank you for that.

Some great storm videos from Sunday are next.

Here's a wonderful time lapse of a severe thunderstorm blowing into Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sunday:

Next is a video of one of those tornadoes in Iowa Sunday. Of course the drawback was the person filming held his smart phone vertically. Hold it horizontally when filming, please.

But still great video of the white tornado:

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