Before getting to the forecast, just a quick moment of reflection as we mark the 50th anniversary of the second deadliest tornado in southeast Michigan history: the Chesterfield Township-New Baltimore Tornado of May 8, 1964.
A tornado watch was in effect, but the tornado warning came too late for many people when the tornado touched down and widened to 800 yards in diameter and strengthened to 166 to 200 miles per hour. According to the National Weather Service, several eye-witness accounts recall that the tornado started near the I-94 and 21 Mile Road intersection at 4:59 p.m. The tornado then tracked along Jefferson Road, and skirted along Harbor Drive before exiting land into Anchor Bay in Lake St. Clair.
"The Tornado Project," by Tom Grazulis, further reports that the twister touched down in the Cape Heart housing area, where it leveled several homes. It then moved to the Forbes residential area where, according to reports, homes "exploded like matchsticks," and cars were hurled for hundreds of feet, crashing into houses. About 132 homes there were destroyed, 200 more damaged.
One of the reasons that casualties were so high is that, due to the bay-area homes being so close to the water, the water table is higher and fewer people were able to build basements with their homes as a result. The tornado killed thirteen people, injured between 200 and 400 others, and caused $3 million in damage in 1964 dollars. There are many people still living in the area today who survived that traumatic tornado, and my thoughts are with you on this difficult day.
Photos courtesy of Keith Weisgerber, Retired Chief of the Roseville Fire Department
Alright, on to the forecast. Partly cloudy and mild tonight, with lows in the low 60s.
After a dry, mild start to your Friday, clouds will increase and thicken, and showers and thunderstorms will become increasingly likely as we approach afternoon. Highs in the mid 70s. Southwest wind at 15 to 20 mph. Showers and thunderstorms taper off Friday evening. I'm not sure at this point if the rain will end early enough to allow the Tigers game to be played at Comerica Park.
I'll update you on Twitter tomorrow as I get a better handle on this (follow me at @PaulGrossLocal4).
Lows in the mid 50s. Becoming mostly sunny on Saturday. This is definitely the better of the two weekend days. Highs in the low 70s. Partly cloudy Saturday night, with lows in the upper 40s.
Unfortunately, there's a chance for showers and thunderstorms on Mother's Day, but not an all-day rained out situation. I'll try to get specific about the timing tomorrow, but today's maps give me increased confidence about a rain chance for at least part of the day. Highs in the low 70s. Showers and storms are still possible Sunday night (get used to this), with lows in the low 60s.
Shower and thunderstorm chances continue both Monday and Tuesday, with highs in the mid 70s on Monday and near 70 on Tuesday.