Record number of tornadoes hit Michigan

An ag meteorologist says cool air from Canada competing against a heat and humidity dome came to a head in Michigan last week.

Jeff Andresen is the state climatologist.

“The heat and humidity is what changes those thunderstorms from being a common garden variety to something which is much, much different, violent and severe, at least seven tornadoes recorded officially across the state,” he says.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for the five counties impacted by the destruction.

“There were some corn fields that were at least partially some cases totally flattened that probably will be a loss, but the key I think is that it was localized,” Andresen says.

He estimates the Saginaw Bay region south to the Ohio line has received up to 300 percent of normal rainfall in recent weeks, with some areas receiving nearly nine inches of rain in less than two days as part of the storms.

“All of that excess water obviously has an impact,” he shares.  “We’ve seen a flush of weed growth and some disease issues as well that followed a drought earlier in the season. We had too little water at the beginning of the season, now for at least for portions of the state we’re ending up with too much.”

The cooldown has brought below-normal temperatures which Andresen says will be short-lived with another heatwave on the horizon for the Corn Belt.

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