Severe thunderstorms rolled through parts of the U.S. Midwest on Tuesday night, August 10, 2021, into Wednesday, leaving more than 460 000 customers without power in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
As of 00:45 UTC on August 11 (19:45 CDT on August 10), more than 120 000 customers in parts of Wisconsin and Michigan were without power.
According to PowerOutage, the total number grew to 466 023 by 10:50 UTC -- of which 239 749 in Michigan, 117 847 in Wisconsin, and 108 427 in Illinois.
"We are seeing a large amount of power outages due to strong storms with high winds and lighting," We Energies said in a statement. The company provides electric service to customers in portions of Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
"We have hundreds of people working through the night to restore power after strong storms and high winds caused extensive damage. If you see a downed power line please stay away. Thank you for your patience as we work as safely and quickly as possible to restore service," the company added.
Image credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, TW. Acquired at 23:00 UTC on August 10, 2021
The storms hit after one of the regions hottest days of the year, with heat index values above 38 °C (100 °F). They developed in central and southern Iowa and moved into Wisconsin.
By 19:00 CDT, the entire Milwaukee metro area was under severe thunderstorm warnings.1
"Today is looking very similar to yesterday, with excessive heat followed by severe thunderstorms," meteorologists at NWS Milwaukee said. "Winds in excess of 110 km/h (70 mph), hail, and a few tornadoes are possible with the storms. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings!"
The storms are expected to move in from the NW between 14:00 and 16:00 CDT (19:00 - 21:00 UTC) and continue southeast into the evening.
Today is looking very similar to yesterday, with excessive heat followed by severe thunderstorms. Winds in excess of 70 MPH, hail, and a few tornadoes are possible with the storms. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings! pic.twitter.com/rGimxrmIqe— NWS Milwaukee (@NWSMilwaukee) August 11, 2021
The Great Lakes are most at risk for severe storms later today as hot and humid conditions ahead of an approaching cold front sets the stage for another round of scattered thunderstorms, NWS forecaster Mullinax said.2
An Enhanced Risk for severe weather is in place over western Michigan while a Slight Risk envelops Michigan and portions of the Midwest.
Damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes could accompany any severe thunderstorms.
Meanwhile, scattered thunderstorms can be expected from the Midwest to the interior sections of the East Coast including the Northeast, as well as along the Gulf Coast and into Florida for the next couple of days. Most shower and thunderstorm activity will develop in the afternoon and linger into the evening hours each day.
Some of these thunderstorms may contain heavy downpours that could result in localized flash flooding.
1 Nearly 150,000 without power as severe storms blast southern Wisconsin; utilities warning people to avoid downed power lines - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
2 NWS Short Range Public Discussion - (334 AM EDT Wed Aug 11 2021)
Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, TW. Acquired at 23:00 UTC on August 10, 2021
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