Storms reach west Michigan after warm Monday
A day of summer-like warmth in Michigan spawned storms on the state's west side that left thousands without power late Monday.
The National Weather Service reported wind gusts near 40 mph in Muskegon, Ottawa and Kent counties.
Half-inch hail fell in Holland and tree limbs were toppled in Niles, according to the weather service. In Bangor Township, trees and power lines were down; in Wyoming, large tree limbs fell. A utility pole was down at 22 Mile Road NE and Whitefish Road in Sand Lake, according to weather service storm reports. A 3-foot diameter tree was down in Eau Claire.
Consumers Energy reported 15,962 customers without power at 11:45 p.m., including large clusters near Holland.
"Continue to be alert for very gusty winds ... frequent lightning ...and locally heavy rain," the weather service said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, a small craft advisory was in effect until late Tuesday for the waters between St. Joseph and Manistee as waves up to 3-6 feet are expected, according to the weather service website.
"Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in hazardous conditions," the notice said.
Metro Detroit could see showers after 2 a.m. as temperatures hover in the 60s, the weather service predicts.
On Monday, Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus reached a high of 80, which is 15 degrees above average for the date but below the record, 86, set in 1928, according to the National Weather Service.
Flint hit 81, short of its record, 85, set in 1938. The normal high there on Oct. 11 is 62.
The damaging storms followed severe weather in the Plains. Several reported that tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma late Sunday into early Monday morning, causing damage but no immediate word of deaths or injuries.
The severe weather system also brought heavy rain, lightning and wind to parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas, and more stormy weather is predicted for later this week in parts of the central United States.
Severe weather is not unusual in the Southern Plains in October, said Chuck Hodges, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tulsa. But Sunday's storm “was kind of more of a spring setup," he said.
"We had unusually high moisture and a very, very strong weather system that came through,” he said.
In lower Michigan for the rest of the week, warmer-than-usual temperatures are expected until Saturday, when seasonal weather is likely to return. Highs around 70 are forecast, with lows in the 60s.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.