Powerful twisters are unusual in northern Michigan. The Great Lakes typically damage approaching thunderstorms because the cool temperature levels and breezes over the water prevent storm development.
However on May 20, 2022, record-breaking heat in the Midwest assisted sustain a line of strong storms in Wisconsin that barreled throughout Lake Michigan without weakening considerably. Among them reinforced and transitioned into a supercell, an especially effective kind of storm with a deep and relentless turning updraft.
That storm generated an EF-3 tornado bearing winds up to 150 miles (225 kilometers) per hour that ripped through the town of Gaylord. It likewise dropped hail the size of golf balls and baseballs as it tracked east-northeast across Michigan from the Traverse City location to Alpena.
The Operational Land Imager ( OLI) on Landsat 8 captured natural-color images (above) of Gaylord on June 2, 2022, and May 31, 2021. The map below is based on optical differences in between those two images, with the area around the track highlighted to stress its place.
June 2, 2022
The line of damage spanned 16 miles, crossing forests, farmland, Gaylords commercial district, and residential neighborhoods. According to report, the twister eliminated two people and injured 44 as it annihilated a mobile house park, tore off roofings, and tossed vehicles. Preliminary estimates suggest that the storm caused numerous million dollars in damage.
Forecasters from the National Weather Service reported that weather condition balloon observations indicated conditions extremely favorable for tornado development prior to the tornado touching down: strong wind shear, sufficient atmospheric instability, and a propensity for rising air to rotate. “It is really unusual for this magnitude of all of these variables to come together at as soon as throughout northern Michigan,” they kept in mind.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, utilizing Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey and data from OpenStreetMap.
Gaylord, May 30, 2021
Gaylord, June 2, 2022
Twister Scars Northern Michigan
Satellite images shows the line of damage extending through Gaylord, Michigan.
Gaylord, a city in Otsego County in northern Michigan with a population of 4,286, was struck by an EF-3 tornado a couple of weeks earlier, and satellite and area captured the destruction.
On the Enhanced Fujita Scale of twister damage intensity, an EF3 indicates it has 3-second gusts in the series of 136-165 miles per hour (219-266 km/h).