Storms leave thousands without power in Michigan

The Detroit News

Rain and storms that raced through parts of Michigan in two rounds late Monday and early Tuesday have moved out, and now heat will be the major weather story.

The storms accompanied a warm front moving into the region, the National Weather Service said.

Wind gusts near 70 mph were reported on the state's south side, including St. Joseph County, followed by snapped tree limbs in some areas, according to the weather service's website.

Lines were down in Benton Harbor, trees reportedly toppled on cars in communities like Hartford, and shingles blew off in Hillsdale, the weather service said.

Hail also was reported in Stevensville, near Lake Michigan. More than an inch of rain fell in Centreville in under 40 minutes, according to the agency.

About 15,000 electricity customers were without power at the outages' peak early Tuesday. By midday, Consumers Energy reported about 12,000 without power and DTE Energy said about 1,600 were out.

In Ohio, the damage was more widespread; the storms knocked out power to nearly 150,000 Ohio customers early Tuesday across the state, including in the Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati areas.

Highs in southeast Michigan are expected to rise into the mid-80s Tuesday then drop into the 70s at night. For southwest and mid-Michigan, temperatures will be significantly warmer. Battle Creek, Holland and Kalamazoo are forecast to be in the low to mid-90s Tuesday, with heat index readings that could top 100 degrees.

"Humidity levels will also increase rather dramatically today in the wake of this warm front," the weather service says. 

Wednesday will be dangerously hot across lower Michigan.

The next day, much of the state is expected to face that summery heat.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning beginning at noon Tuesday for southwest areas as well as in Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

A heat advisory is in effect from noon today until 10 p.m. Wednesday for west and mid-Michigan counties: Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Clinton, Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Ingham, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun and Jackson.

Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid- to upper 90s on Wednesday. The heat index could hover near 105 degrees, the weather service said.

"Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities," according to the watch.

The warmth is forecast to linger on Thursday, with the mercury climbing into the low 90s.

The weekend will bring a return to typical June weather, which is around 80, but the heat is already planning a repeat performance.

"This cool down back to average early summer temperatures will be short-lived, however, as the upper ridge expands back quickly early next week and bring a return of hot and relatively humid conditions," the weather agency says. "While not quite as humid as what the next several days will be, temperatures will build back into the 90s by Monday and Tuesday of next week."