07/06/2004 REPORTS: Plains/Midwest/Great Lakes/Eastern USA

Dan Robinson

Obviously storm-starved since June 12, I put together a log for a storm most chasers would sleep through.


Still a good chase, saw some lightning, so I can't complain. Can of OFF was empty, ended up dealing with a tick when I got home. Not fun....

Convection looked pretty widespread today, so hoping others will fill in the thread.
Highlights if you call it that: some gusty winds, heavy rains, lightning.

Tornado Watch for Southern Michigan, decided to chase again. Left Grand Rapids headed toward Lansing, watch a distant storm pop up, only to see it dissipate, notice on radar the storms over by Flint did not hold together, so decided to go down 1-69 to intercept the storms in Calhoun County, some gusty winds, heavy rains, occasional good CG's, followed the storms into Jackson County, was going to intercept the storms in Indiana, but decided to call it the day. Since the sun was setting.

29 West Michigan Chases for 2004 and still tornadoless., then again not many reports of tornadoes in West Michigan either.
My first Michigan chase (outside of a 15 mile radius of KZO) transpired during the early/late evening hours of July 6. Following the issuance of a TOR box; observed high-based towering convection at Kalamazoo around 6:30pm ET; along with more linear based storms moving NE at 30 towards KZO; Battle Creek; and points eastward. The blossoming convection ahead of the line peaked my interest; so I continued east past Battle Creek; stopping at Marshall for a time lapse opportunity. Quite possibly the most crisp quasi-supercellular convection I've observed in Michigan since 25-June-1998 transpired just to my S/SE across Branch Co. This cell moved NE towards eastern Calhoun Co; producing estimated 40-50mph wind gusts, blinding rain, and small hail for a five minute duration. Vehicles were brought to a halt on I-94; east and westbound; before the precip subsided.

Continued E into Jackson Co; getting ahead of the primary cell moving E along I-94; observing intense lightning and a non-rotating wall cloud (very raggy); before shooting N on US127 into southern Ingham Co; then looped back around E; S; then back W (via I-96; US23; I-94) towards Jackson... shooting lightning at Marshall before heading back to KZO.

Was fairly surprised with the issuance of a TOR box under to the dominant unidirectional flow; but wasn't let down by these garden variety photogenic storms. The 270 mile RT chase also brought home the fact that I absolutely despise chasing in Michigan during the summer; due to extreme foilage; yet it was nice and refreshing to chase within my home state once again.