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Get Updates On Severe Weather Forecasts!

03/17/2024 - Severe Weather Awareness Week | Day 1: Severe Weather Overview

Introduction To The Week

Today begins the week that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared "Severe Weather Awareness Week" in Michigan for the year 2024. The next several days should be used, not only as an opportunity to educate yourself on severe weather basics, but also to create and/or review your severe weather safety plans in your homes, workplaces, and schools!

Throughout the week we'll be discussing a variety of topics including tornadoes, lightning, watches and warnings, general severe weather preparedness, and more.

The entire state can opt to participate in the statewide tornado drill! We encourage you to do this at your home or workplace!

We sincerely hope that you join us each day this week to take a look at the various blog posts we'll be making. These blog posts will help to make you part of a #WeatherReady West Michigan!

Video of the Day

Check out our YouTube video on today's topic HERE!

Today's Topic: Severe Weather Overview

While we don't see severe weather in Michigan as often as other places in the United States, Michigan is certainly no stranger to severe weather and the West Michigan area is no different. Over the years we've seen numerous significant, to even violent, tornadoes, widespread destructive wind storms, and countless severe thunderstorm complexes.

Americans who live in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas typically take severe weather threats pretty seriously. In Michigan, we hear a lot of "well it won't happen to me" and that's generally true... until it isn't. Over the last couple of years, Michigan has seen several intense tornadoes, hail storms, damaging wind events, flooding, and more.

Please know that your home, business, place of work, school, worship center, or any other place you may find yourself is not immune to severe weather!

With the overall global weather patterns that are currently in place and what is forecasted for the summer, we will unfortunately, more than likely, see an above-average and more significant severe weather season here in Michigan this Spring and Summer.

Plainfield Township, MI (Kent County) EF-1 Tornado Damage - 2023
Plainfield Township, MI (Kent County) EF-1 Tornado Damage - 2023

With that in mind, it's important to understand what it means when meteorologists are forecasting severe weather potential and what all the fancy weather terminology means. We've made several graphics that we'll display this week to help Michiganders understand severe weather threats and we'll subsequently post these each time there is a threat of severe weather as we head into Michigan's severe weather season. Make sure to check back with us each day this week and read our latest Blog post on Severe Weather Awareness Week here! It's also a good idea to follow us on social media to ensure you're getting updated weather information!

What Is Severe Weather?

To start with this week we'll simply provide some explanation on what severe weather is in the first place and some brief Michigan Weather history that shows no one is immune to threats from severe weather.

Severe weather occurs when a strong thunderstorm produces one or more of the following hazards:

  • Tornadoes

  • Damaging wind gusts over 58 MPH

  • Large hail in excess of 1 inch (quarter size) in diameter

Severe weather has the potential to take lives, cause injuries, and damage homes, businesses, schools, and more. It's important to be aware of what severe weather is, how it can affect you, and what you can do to be ready!

Throughout the remainder of the week, we'll be diving into severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, how to prepare for severe weather, severe weather forecasting, and more! Tune in each day to learn more!

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