EF-0 tornado touched down Thursday in St. Clair County, weather service says

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Officials in St. Clair County have confirmed that a weak tornado touched down there Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

A county emergency management team determined the EF-0 twister hit around 6:12 p.m. in Grant Township, about 20 miles northwest of Port Huron, and remained on the ground for two minutes over half a mile, said Andrew Arnold, a meteorologist for the weather service.

It swirled with winds peaking at around 70 mph, damaging the roofing and siding of a single home and a nearby carport as well as snapping pine trees and flattening a cornfield, he said.

No injuries were reported.

National Weather Service

The tornado arrived amid a storm system associated with a front that followed unseasonably warm air, rain and wind, Arnold said.

Detroit Metro Airport reached 81 degrees Thursday, far above the average high of 63 for Oct. 14 and near the record of 83 degrees set in 1975 and 1989, NWS records show.

Through Thursday, temperatures this month have averaged about 12 degrees above normal, according to the weather service website.

The St. Clair County tornado came less than two weeks after another EF-0 touched down in Springfield Township.

October twisters are not common, "but the chances that you start seeing tornadoes this time of year just end up lowering," Arnold said. "They happen on a lower scale than what we get in May, June and July."

Multiple tornadoes whipped across Michigan this year, including in Hillsdale County, Armada and Port Austin

The forecast calls for few chances of severe weather through next week.

After a rainy start Saturday, the weather service predicts partly cloudy skies, highs in the upper 50s and wind gusts above 20 mph. 

Sunday should also be windy with temperatures reaching the low 60s and dropping into the 40s at night.

Similar conditions are expected Monday before the mercury rebounds to around 70 degrees on Tuesday.