Risk of destructive tornadoes is waning
The tornado watch, a less severe alert than a tornado warning, that was issued for much of Michigan until 4 p.m. Wednesday by the National Weather Service has been canceled for all of southeast Michigan. As the day unfolded, meteorologists said, the risk had diminished.
Second window for storms still possible
It’s still possible, forecasters added, that when even the warning ends there could be a second window for storms — which could bring golf-ball sized hail and damaging winds — from 6-9 p.m., but the threat of destructive tornadoes is waning. “We’re still expecting showers and possible storms, but the thinking is the atmosphere is much, much more stable,” said Alex Manion, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township, earlier Wednesday afternoon.
Possible power outages and flooding
Along with the threat of a tornado came the possibility of airport flight delays, power outages and flooding. DTE said that wind gusts up to 60 mph were possible, which can cause trees and branches to fall on our equipment resulting in power outages; but storm response teams are on standby, ready to “restore power as quickly and safely as possible.” Consumers Energy also pointed out the likelihood of severe weather on its website, noting that “thunderstorms are expected in your area which could cause tornados, downed wires, and outages” and its “outage center is the easiest way to report” a power problem. And there was concern that heavy rain could result in localized flooding, with warnings in parts of the state.
Difference between tornado watch and warning
A tornado watch, Manion said, means that the atmospheric conditions are ripe for severe weather, the tornado being the most destructive. After the watch, he added, a cold front is moving in, and “we’re not 100% out of the clear” because “some weaker and brief tornados may be possible.”A tornado warning, he said, is issued when a tornado is spotted on radar or in real life, and that, he said, means you should seek shelter immediately because you are in imminent danger. When a warning is issued, TV and radio stations usually start to squawk and outdoor sirens often sound.Tornadoes — rated on the Fujita Scale from 1 to 5, the most intense — can have wind gusts from 65 mph to more than 200 mph with a destructive force of an atomic bomb, leveling homes, businesses, cars and anything else in its path.
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