Damaging Storms Hit Michiana

On Tuesday afternoon, far northern Indiana and southwest lower Michigan were affected by widespread damaging winds and a brief, but weak tornado.

Thunderstorms quickly developed along a weakening frontal boundary that expanded across northern Indiana and into central Illinois.

Those storms merged with another line of storms racing in from Illinois.

This created small bow echoes and storm mergers that caused tree, tree limb, power line and pole, and structural damage.

Tornado sightings were reported to the National Weather Service as well as emergency officials in various areas.

A team of meteorologists from the Northern Indiana National Weather Service was sent to northern St. Joseph County in Indiana, and much of St. Joseph County in Michigan to survey the damage and determine a cause.

In northern St. Joseph County, Indiana damage consistent with straight line winds ranging between 60 to 70 miles per hour were observed in and around the New Carlisle range.

A local resident and survey information confirmed a brief tornado touchdown just south of New Carlisle along Fillmore Road, just north of State Route 2.

The damage to tree tops was consistent with EF0 damage, with top speeds around 65 mph.

A segment of an irrigation ditch was twisted, and in addition trees and power lines were found down in and around the area.

In St. Joseph County, Michigan, damage was observed just outside of Three Rivers.

Further northeast and along M 60, the significance of damage increased with numerous trees 20 to 35 feet tall and 2 or more feet in diameter uprooted or snapped in many locations.

Two irrigation systems were also destroyed during the storm.

Damage to houses appeared minor in comparison to the magnitude of tree and power line damage.

The damage path continued to just northeast of Mendon.

Widespread straight line damaging wind was the cause of the damage, with speed estimated of 90 to 95 mph.

Much of the damage was caused by down bursts and gust fronts.

There were also many reports of gust-nadoes.

Mike Hoffman has more of an explanation in our video.


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