Spectacular tornado photos from Michigan

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:22 PM GMT on October 22, 2007

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The tropical Atlantic is quiet and none of the reliable computer models forecast formation of the tropical cyclone in the Atlantic over the next five days. However, some of the models are predicting a subtropical storm could form in the Mediterranean Sea by Thursday this week.

Last week's tornado outbreak was one of the largest ever recorded in October, bringing as least 78 twisters to the U.S. beginning October 17, 2007 and continuing into the early hours of October 19. Hardest hit was Michigan, which recorded three deaths and 11 tornadoes.

Since I live in Michigan, friends and family frequently send me photos of weather events in the state. A rare gem landed in my inbox Friday. The photo (below) was undoubtedly the finest one I've ever seen of a Michigan tornado. The tornado formed at about 5 pm EDT just southwest of Black Lake, Michigan, in the northern Lower Peninsula. The twister was rated an EF1 with winds up to 94 mph. It destroyed one barn just north of M-68, leaving a sporadic damage path up through Black Lake about 1/8 mile wide and 10 miles long. When the tornado crossed over Black Lake, Nathan Krinsky took these spectacular pictures from the back deck of his home. The sun was setting at 5:25 pm EDT when the photos were taken, and if you look closely, you can see a rainbow, thanks to the spray kicked up by the tornado.




Figure 1. Black Lake tornado of October 18, 2007 (top) and storm-relative velocity (bottom) from the Doppler radar in Gaylord, Michigan just before the Black Lake tornado crossed over the lake. The characteristic signature of a tornado is evident just southwest of the lake, with an area of strong winds blowing towards the radar (blue colors) right next to an area of strong winds blowing away from the radar (red colors). A classic hook echo is visible in the radar reflectivity animation (330 Kb) of the storm.

Alas, I did not see the Black Lake tornado. I've never seen a tornado, and it has always been a dream of mine to see and photograph a beautiful tornado--literally. In a recurrent dream I've had at least 50 times since I was a boy, I see and attempt to photograph a spectacular tornado. The dreams have two common features:

1) I'm always ABSOLUTELY SURE it is not a dream, and I really am seeing the tornado this time.

2) Something always happens to prevent me from photographing the tornado. Usually, I can't get to my camera, the camera is out of film, or I have go wait in line at the store to buy film while the tornado passes by. My favorite frustration was when the tornado got too close, and tore off the screen door of my house. The latch of the door snagged my camera strap and yanked the camera out of my hands just as I snapped the picture. I watched forlornly as the camera and screen door spiraled up into the tornado, forever lost. In the last few versions of the dream, I haven't even bothered to try to photograph the storm, since I know it is a futile cause. I'll just have to enjoy the photos taken by such lucky people as Nathan Krinsky!

Jeff Masters

Black Lake, Michigan tornado (JeffMasters)
Tornado over Black Lake, Michigan, during the October 18, 2007 tornado outbreak. This tornado was rated EF1 with winds up to 94 mph. Damage consisted of a barn destroyed just north of M-68. The sporadic damage path up through Black Lake was 1/8 mile wide and around 10 miles long. Some tree damage was seen around Black Lake. The photo taken by Nathan Krinsky from the back deck of his home on Black Lake in northern Michigan, 15 miles southeast of Cheboygan. The sun was setting at 5:25 pm EDT when this photo was taken, and if you look closely, you can see a rainbow, thanks to the spray kicked up by the tornado.
Black Lake, Michigan tornado
Black Lake, Michigan tornado (JeffMasters)
Tornado over Black Lake, Michigan, during the October 18, 2007 tornado outbreak. This tornado was rated EF1 with winds up to 94 mph. Damage consisted of a barn destroyed just north of M-68. The sporadic damage path up through Black Lake was 1/8 mile wide and around 10 miles long. Some tree damage was seen around Black Lake. The photo taken by Nathan Krinsky from the back deck of his home on Black Lake in northern Michigan, 15 miles southeast of Cheboygan. The sun was setting at 5:25 pm EDT when this photo was taken, and if you look closely, you can see a rainbow, thanks to the spray kicked up by the tornado.
Black Lake, Michigan tornado

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380. jpritch
2:52 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Speaking of cold fronts spawning things, looks like the circulation that crossed into the BOC yesterday is still there this morning at the tail of that front: Quikscat
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
379. BajaALemt
2:20 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Mornin NE (nice to see you)

You see the homework they're giving these 5th graders? :O
378. NEwxguy
2:09 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
hmmm,kind of answers the question am I smarter than a 5th grader,Nooooooooo
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
377. ShenValleyFlyFish
2:06 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
373. Floodman 9:49 AM EDT on October 23, 2007 You know, the Black Helicopter crowd...ooops, wrong blog; that was for my "Insane Conspricy Theory" blog...

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean THEY aren't out to get you. Ever since the Good Old Days when we said "this S-tuff as got to quit. Things have got to get better" I can spot an under-cover or a nark wether THEIR there or not. It keeps me on the straight and narrow.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
376. HIEXPRESS
1:59 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
375. BajaALemt
1:58 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Antropomorphize storms...Gal names, guy names *laffs* THENNNNNNN refer to them as 'he' ....'she'. *smiles*
374. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:54 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
371. NEwxguy 9:39 AM EDT on October 23, 2007 GM,all,I see your making run to the dictonary early today,anthropomorphize?

"They" don't need a dictionary. All THEY need to know is they're being talked about. THEY are paranoid.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
373. Floodman
1:49 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
You know, the Black Helicopter crowd...ooops, wrong blog; that was for my "Insane Conspricy Theory" blog...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
372. BajaALemt
1:44 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
TampaSpin 1:33 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Looks like the Florida Panhandle under the gun today with possible bad weather


New Synopsis..


000
FXUS62 KTAE 231328
AFDTAE

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
925 AM EDT TUE OCT 23 2007

.SYNOPSIS/DISCUSSION...
AMPLIFIED UPPER PATTERN ACROSS THE CONUS THIS MORNING WITH DEEP
TROUGHING ACROSS THE PLAINS AND MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND RIDGING ALONG
BOTH THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC COASTS. LARGE CLOSED UPPER LOW HAS
FRACTURED FROM THE TROUGH AXIS OVER THE SOUTHERN PLAINS WITH THE
MAIN SHORTWAVE ENERGY PUSHING EAST THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES REGION.

AT THE SURFACE...COLD FRONT IS CURRENTLY PUSHING EASTWARD OUT OF THE
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI VALLEY ACROSS AL/THE WESTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE.
REGIONAL RADAR SHOWING A THIN BAND OF SHOWERS/EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS
ALONG THE JUST AHEAD OF THE FRONT. THESE SHOWERS WILL BE SLOWLY
PUSHING INTO THE EASTERN FL PANHANDLE AND SOUTHEAST ALABAMA DURING
THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON. GUIDANCE IN GOOD AGREEMENT
IN SHOWING THIS LINE STRUCTURE BECOMING A BIT MORE DIFFUSE AS IT
CONTINUES EASTWARD DURING THE LATER AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING
HOURS. A FEW SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE STILL LIKELY TO MOVE
INTO OUR WESTERN GA ZONES AND THE FL BIG BEND LATER IN THE DAY
ALTHOUGH NOT EVERY PLACE WILL BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE THE RAINFALL.

LOW CIGS ACROSS A LARGE PORTION OF THE AREA WILL BE SLOW TO BREAK UP
TODAY ALTHOUGH SUNNY BREAKS WILL BECOME MORE NUMEROUS OVER THE NEXT
SEVERAL HOURS. TEMPS THIS AFTERNOON RISING AHEAD OF THE FRONT INTO
THE MIDDLE 80S AND UPPER 70S TO NEAR 80 BEHIND THE FRONT FOR OUR
FAR WESTERN ZONES.

SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED STORMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FRONT THEN
MOVE INTO OUR EASTERN ZONES DURING THE EVENING/OVERNIGHT HOURS WITH
A FEW LIGHTER SHOWERS/SPRINKLES STILL POSSIBLE FOR THE WESTERN CWA
CLOSER TO THE LARGE SCALE DYNAMICS OF THE UPPER LOW AND MID LEVEL
COOL POOL. LOW TEMPS FROM THE MIDDLE TO UPPER 60S OVER THE EASTERN
ZONES CLOSER TO THE FRONTAL ZONE AND FALLING INTO THE MIDDLE AND
UPPER 50S ACROSS THE FAR WEST WHERE COLD AIR ADVECTION WILL BE MORE
PRONOUNCED.


371. NEwxguy
1:39 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
367. HIEXPRESS 1:34 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Let me guess. "They" are the 'canes. Be careful, "they" hate it when you anthropomorphize them.


GM,all,I see your making run to the dictonary early today,anthropomorphize?
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
370. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:39 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
UYA and TampaSpin

Thanks for responses. Hope you guys are right. This is one quiz I'd be happy to fail.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
369. hurricane23
1:35 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
The western caribbean is an area to watch according to some models.The lastest EURO run shows light upper level winds over the area.

Joe B is also calling for something to develope in the next 5-7 days.

Personally i give it a 50/50 chance. Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
368. TampaSpin
1:34 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Morning Baja
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
367. HIEXPRESS
1:34 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Let me guess. "They" are the 'canes. Be careful, "they" hate it when you anthropomorphize them.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
366. TampaSpin
1:34 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
JP your correct.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
365. TampaSpin
1:33 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Looks like the Florida Panhandle under the gun today with possible bad weather
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
364. BajaALemt
1:32 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Mornin folks...nice and quiet this morning
362. TampaSpin
1:32 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Morning FloodMan....can't wait to hear this explantion.....lol
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
361. TampaSpin
1:30 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
360. stoormfury 9:29 AM EDT on October 23, 2007
Floodman explain the statement 'that's what they WANT you to think'


LMAO
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
360. stoormfury
1:29 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Floodman explain the statement 'that's what they WANT you to think'
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
359. Floodman
1:28 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Good morning, folks, by the way!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
358. TampaSpin
1:28 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
The cold fronts have not made it into the tropics yet. Not wishcasting just facts.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
357. Floodman
1:24 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
354. stoormfury 8:19 AM CDT on October 23, 2007
with the cold fronts now beginning to to move into the gomex and wind shear values extremely high , it is very possible that we might be coming to an ealy end of the 2007 atl hurricane season

That's just what they WANT you to think LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
356. Floodman
1:23 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
335. NRAamy 7:15 AM CDT on October 23, 2007
Fire Update from Calif:

The fire nearest me is only 30% contained...my bags are packed and I'm ready to evac...Santa Ana winds are gonna kick up again today, which means more fires....



Hang in there, Amy
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
355. TampaSpin
1:20 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Shen,
You got rain coming.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
354. stoormfury
1:19 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
with the cold fronts now beginning to to move into the gomex and wind shear values extremely high , it is very possible that we might be coming to an ealy end of the 2007 atl hurricane season
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
353. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:09 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Ok about to take my first pop quiz. StormW you get to grade.

After looking at Stormw's shear map am going to hazard a guess that system over NEGOM is going to send majority of moisture moving out of NWGOM to west of SEUS drought.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
352. koneofdeath
1:07 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
great pix ! please send waves
Member Since: June 15, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 35
351. UYA
1:04 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Shen:


WHILE FLOW FROM THE ATLANTIC MAY INCREASE COVERAGE
AND INTENSITY OF RAINFALL OVER PORTIONS OF THE CAROLINAS AND MID
ATLANTIC BY WEDNESDAY. THE SLOW MOVING UPPER LOW OVER THE LOWER
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY SHOULD KEEP SOME RAIN OVER THAT REGION THROUGH
THE NEXT TWO DAYS.
350. CaribBoy
1:03 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Good morning all.

What a rainy tuesday in the islands!
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5600
349. HIEXPRESS
1:02 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Dew points in the 30's and 40's?

I think he meant DO points. That is a 30% to 40% chance of getting anything constructive done this weekend.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
348. weathermanwannabe
1:01 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Thanks Storm.....Actually looks like relatively low sheer in the Gomex, but,nothing there to develop (unless that frontal blob in the Bay of Campeche is able to hang around a few days and drift out of the BOC).......
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8278
347. NoahVaile
12:59 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Wow. Great pix. They look almost like nuclear explosions.
346. TampaSpin
12:59 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Looks as tho an ULL has developed NE of Purto Rico. Might be hard for that blob to develop in that area.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
345. NoNamePub
12:54 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Good morning all.

Models seem to indicate a little activity...anyone else see that?
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 518
344. turnandburn
12:53 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
thanks storm, looks like it might develop something. Think Dr. M will mention it?
342. weathermanwannabe
12:44 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
I'm not a sheer map guy, and, the regulars which are the map-pros have not been around lately....
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8278
341. turnandburn
12:43 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
anyone have a gom shear map link?
340. weathermanwannabe
12:40 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Good Morning Folks......Looks like a wait and see for the tropics for the rest of the month...Nothing is jumping out right now and agree that sheer values will determine whether any significant frontal remnants or waves will have the opportunity to develop....Typical for this late period in the season as it wanes towards a close......
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8278
339. ShenValleyFlyFish
12:36 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Hi all. Hit a deer on way to work so am taking day off. No humans hurt and the poor critter disappeared I'd rather a clean kill. Still a little shook up but feeling fortunate wasn't worse. Think truck only suffered cosmetic damage and needs a front end alignment still going to get it looked at.

Weather question which I realize is somewhat out of area of interest of blog. Is anyone willing to hazard a guess whether rain moving north oout of GOM is going to confine itself to ohio river valley or will it jump the appalachians and bring us some much needed rain in central VA?
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
338. TheCaneWhisperer
12:26 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Morning All! Nasty cold front in the Gulf, wish it was coming here :-(. Possibly a sneak attack from the east, huh? The east, it's almost November, crazy year. Gonna need to learn how to dance with that ULL to the west though.
336. turnandburn
12:20 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Can anyone see my post, I can't even see it.
335. NRAamy
12:15 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
Fire Update from Calif:

The fire nearest me is only 30% contained...my bags are packed and I'm ready to evac...Santa Ana winds are gonna kick up again today, which means more fires....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 316 Comments: 31944
334. turnandburn
12:14 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
jp, storm, any comment about the front in sw gulf?
332. youradjuster
12:02 PM GMT on October 23, 2007
just a test

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.