Posted: Jun 12, 2020 / 01:03 AM EDTUpdated: Jun 12, 2020 / 01:41 AM EDT
A line of showers and thunderstorms passed through the area Thursday evening. The line was out ahead of a reinforcing cold front. Much of the line had little or no lightning. I think I heard two distant rumbles of thunder. The showers/t-storms were in a relatively narrow band and were moving fairly fast, so precipitation amounts were light. I had only 0.13″ at my house.
Peak Wind gusts with the showers/t-storms: 58 mph Lansing, 53 mph Whitehall, 49 mph Muskegon Beach and Muskegon Airport, 48 mph Grand Rapids and at Alma, 47 mph Cedar Springs and at Roosevelt Park, 43 mph Fremont and Gaylord.
In Wisconsin, winds hit 54 mph at Green Bay and 49 mph At Sheboygan. There were half a dozen reports of hail up to 1″ in diameter and several other locations with trees or limbs down.
After the storm, a lot of people saw a rainbow. Check out this zoomed-in pic. from Michael Buck. In a primary rainbow, the colors (from outside to inside) are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and indigo. The blue and indigo are often hard to see.
In the picture (that I took) above, you are looking northwest with the storm approaching. The low cloud here at the front of the squall is called a shelf cloud. Sometimes you can see these low clouds rolling, like a rolling pin coming at you. Then this is called a “roll cloud”. Under the roll cloud is where the winds increase as rain-cooled air rushes out. The rain quickly moves in – the lighter gray area behind the shelf cloud is the rain. The rain and wind made it look like a tropical storm for about 5 minutes. Then the storm tapered off and ended.
The two best roll clouds ahead of thunderstorms that I’ve ever seen were first when I was in 3rd grade. I was in church and I knew a storm was coming. I was so excited that I left the church service and went to the front lobby to watch the storm. The roll cloud was amazing and enormous. The wind had to have been over 70 mph for about 3-5 minutes. When church ended, I rode my bicycle all over town (as far as a third grader could go) to look at the storm damage, which was mostly downed trees (and some big ones).
The second one was the Saturday of Festival Weekend in early June…I think it was 1980. This storm arrived around 10:30 am. Same thing…beautiful and classic roll cloud. For about 10 minutes you’d have thought we were in a hurricane. The wind blew the rain sideways. Tents blew over at Festival and the crowd moved quickly down to the underground parking below to escape the storm. Winds appeared to be around 60 mph and we had nearly an inch of rain in about half an hour.
One more rainbow picture…this from Michelle Temple in Caledonia. This is a double rainbow. The outside rainbow has the colors reversed with the red color on the inside of the rainbow. You can check out more rainbow pictures here.