2013 tornado vs 2014 snowstorm

Left: Tornado damage in Comstock Township on Nov. 17, 2013. (Courtesy Beth Guthaus/ReportIt) Right: Turkeys in the snow near Grand Rapids on Nov. 17, 2014. (Courtesy Pat Hoeksema/ReportIt)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If this November seems unusual to you, you’re on to something.

One year ago to the week, Michigan saw one of its worst November tornado outbreaks in history with four tornadoes, three of which were in West Michigan. The Nov. 17, 2013 tornado outbreak produced 73 total tornadoes, including two EF-4 twisters in Illinois. Three of Michigan’s tornadoes that day were ranked EF-0 and one was EF-1.

(Storm reports from November 17, 2013. Tornado reports are in red.)
(Storm reports from November 17, 2013. Tornado reports are in red.)

The powerful storm system was forecast well in advance, and the Storm Prediction Center issued a very rare “High Risk” outlook for southwest lower Michigan – unprecedented in November.

(The Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlook.)
(The Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlook.)

Behind the powerful storm system that produced the severe weather, much cooler air was dragged down setting the tone for what would end up as one of West Michigan’s harshest winters in history. At 116.0 inches of snow, it was the second snowiest in Grand Rapids weather history.

In stark contrast the same week of November last year, Grand Rapids received record snowfall this week. The 9.6 inches recorded Tuesday was nearly 3 inches more than the previous record. The two-day total for Monday and Tuesday was 16.6 inches, the second-highest two-day total Grand Rapids has ever had.



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