Damage reported as powerful storms slam Northern Michigan

Thunderstorms over Lake Huron. Severe weather rolled in across Lake Michigan as well early Wednesday.

Powerful thunderstorms produced some damage across parts of Northern Michigan in the early hours of our Wednesday.

An approaching cold front touched off thunderstorms Tuesday evening in Minnesota which evolved into an intense line of severe thunderstorms overnight. The worst of the weather was across Lake Michigan in Wisconsin where these storms produced what is noted as considerable structure damage and tree damage along with impassable roads in Waushara County. Also, west of Green Bay these storms produced heavy damage to a church in New London, Wisconsin along with possible injuries to campers at a campground there. A semi was blown over on Interstate-43 with a measured wind gust of 86 mph as these storms ravaged that state. The National Weather Service in Green Bay will be doing a storm survey later today.

These storms maintained their strength as they raced across Lake Michigan towards our area around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. The worst of the weather and damage reports locally took place in Manistee/Mason/Lake/Benzie/Wexford counties. Both the Manistee Harbor and Big Sable Point in Mason County measured wind gusts to 60+ mph as these storms raced onshore. A trained weather spotter reported numerous trees blown over between Frankfort and Benzonia in Benzie County. The Lake County emergency manager reported numerous trees blown down over much of Lake County with widespread power outages. Several trees were knocked down south of Cadillac in Wexford County overnight in addition to the other reports.

Power outages in these counties are fairly widespread and crews are working on power restoration.

It appears the worst of the weather is over with for Northern Michigan. The initial storms mentioned above quickly weakened as they progressed east with some clearing noted behind these storms. The cold front that touched off these storms will cross Northern Michigan Wednesday afternoon. Out ahead of the front with some heating Wednesday afternoon, additional thunderstorms are possible, but model guidance suggests most of these will be south/east of an Alpena to Cadillac to Ludington line with quieter weather further north as skies gradually clear. Still, our southern counties along/south of highway M-55 may still see a storm bubble up later Wednesday afternoon.

All areas will clear out overnight into Thursday with cooler weather on the way. Many locations will dip into the 40's Wednesday night with sunshine and low/mid-70's Thursday.