Michigan Marks 10 Year Anniversary of Destructive 80 MPH Derecho Storm
It was mid-July 2011 when a rare and destructive derecho storm roared across Lake Michigan and caused a swatch of damage from straight-line wind thunderstorms. Among the worst hit was Holland which clocked winds at 80 miles per hour.
Derechos are defined as intense windstorms that, unlike tornados, don't spawn swirling winds. Rather, winds from these storms push straight ahead.
The National Weather Service marked the 10 year anniversary of the West Michigan event, part of a larger storm complex that has become known as the Cross Country Derecho, recalling the
estimated 80 mph winds from a "derecho" thunderstorm moved through. Numerous trees fell between Grand Rapids and northern Indiana. This deadly storm struck between 10 AM and noon and crossed Lake Michigan at 65 mph.
One commenter shared this memory of the event:
I remember knowing these storms meant business when there was a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the lakeshore when the line was at Mid Lake and a warning for Kent before the line even hit the shoreline. I was in Byron Center and there were lots of trees down along 68th street between Ivanrest and Wilson. The trees along Wilson in front of Woodhaven Reformed Church were down. I think they may still have the leftover stumps still there possibly.
Many videos of the day captured the storm as it passed.
This one from a residential neighborhood in Portage, near Kalamazoo.
And this one from a more rural location closer to the lake at Fennville which the uploader described as
extreme storm moving in with hurricane like winds and trees submerged in a sea of lightning and rain
Derechos are costly weather events just like tornados and hurricanes. Here are some of the most extreme weather events ever recorded: