50th Anniversary of the Palm Sunday Outbreak tomorrow.

May 18, 2012
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Gaines, MI
The 50th Anniversary of the historic Palm Sunday outbreak is tomorrow, April 11th. Here's a great local write up by the NWS Pontiac/White Lake, MI Weather Office historian Bill Deedler (just updated from the 2005 version) that's well worth the read (my buddy Bob Hartig will appreciate this).
I've been doing a lot of reading up on these past events over the last few months, here in ST, and wherever I can find them. This one amazes me, as did the Super Outbreak of 1974, because of the dynamics that rapidly came together so quickly (big upper level trough with 100-135 kt jet core, 990 MB and deepening surface low, and a WF that lifts out of the Ohio Valley into SE Michigan) at the time. This is a great read and some of it reminds me of what took place yesterday in MO/IL. Even more, was the impact these storms had on our area - especially into my back yard in Genesse County. Enjoy and Chase On!
 
May 1, 2011
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Michigan
www.lakefx.net
Great article from the West Michigan Channel 8 team. An F4 hit the Grand Rapids area.

My dad (he was about 16 at the time) and two of his brothers drove an old chevy car up to the top of a hill to watch one of the storms move by, one that would later drop an F1 tornado pretty close to his and my hometown. Based on his description of the event, He was watching a wall cloud move overhead and was overtaken by the RFD. My dad was a big influence on my interest in weather. Lots of fond memories of watching derechos approach.

http://woodtv.com/2015/04/08/scientists-explore-changes-to-tornado-warnings/
 
May 18, 2012
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Gaines, MI
That too is a good artice @Michael Gavan. It seems like with every big event (palm Sunday, Super Outbreaks - '74 and April 2011, Joplin, etc) there is something new that comes out that improves the way warnings are conveyed and/or transmitted, or something else that's learned that enables the Weather Service to get the word out in a much better way.
 
Jul 2, 2004
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www.stormhorn.com
Hey, Rob, I was down in Dunlap last Saturday, April 11, to play my sax at the northern Indiana commemoration of this disaster. My friend Debbie Watters owns the tornado memorial park down there, located at the site of her childhood home, which got swept away by the worst twister of the bunch. Saturday was a wonderful, moving, sobering time for several generations of people who had been affected by the tornadoes that swept through the Elkhart/Goshen/Shipshewana area to reflect and connect.

The Palm Sunday Outbreak was a classic Type 1 Great Lakes setup (per Janis Laurens at KGRR), with a low center in eastern Iowa migrating northeast into Wisconsin in the afternoon, lifting up the warm front with it through Michigan; with modest to moderate CAPE; and with intense--in this case, extreme--shear. The 500 mb winds were just ridiculous, and the potency of the system overall was enough to drag warm, dry air far east of the Mississippi to create the rare occurrence of a Great Lakes dryline. Truly an unusual and horrible event, and it left a haunting impact on me as a tornado-obsessed kid living a mere twenty miles northwest of the disaster area just across the border in Indiana.

Besides the Dunlap commemoration, one was also held here in Grand Rapids. Blake Naftel put together a brief documentary on the EF4 that hit Alpine Township on the northwest end of GR. Speakers included Russ Schneider of the SPC and Ernie Ostuno, MIC at the Grand Rapids NWS. I understand the event had excellent attendance. It's good to know that after half a century, the significance of the Palm Sunday tornadoes continues to draw interest.
 
May 18, 2012
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Gaines, MI
That's awesome, Bob! I knew there was going to be a few commemorative events around the area, but with our schedule I just couldn't get away to one of them. Glad you did. Bet that was awesome.