Severe Storm Over Northern Michigan

August 06, 2015

Toms Cloud

August 2015 Viewer's Choice

Photographer: T.J . Parrent
Summary Authors: T.J . Parrent; Jim Foster

The unnerving storm cloud shown above was observed overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan. Often when a storm approaches it's hard to gage its severity. Of course if a funnel cloud is detected it's time to take cover, but otherwise most of us will wait and see what develops. With this storm, there was little time to wait. A few minutes before 4:30 p.m. on August 2, 2015, it slammed into northern Michigan with winds estimated at 90 mph (134 kmph). Damage was extensive all along the storm track.

The shelf cloud (arc cloud) associated with this storm was particularly pronounced. Clouds such as this are on occasion seen at the leading edge of a thunderstorm (squall line) marking areas of outflow that form ahead of an approaching frontal system. For more about this storm see Michigan in Pictures.