Sunday, June 16th, a lot of people might have been woken up by an alert from their phones, or other smart devices. A Tornado warning was issued for parts of Kalamazoo County. A line of storms was marching through the area, and there were wind gusts up to near 80 mph reported.

But that Tornado Warning might not have turned out to be what some thought, AND, if the warning went out, how come come people within the "cone" of the warning didn't receive alerts on their smart devices?

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Monday, June 17th, residents across west Michigan were back to cleaning up storm damage after a strong line of thunderstorms marched across the area. Consumers Energy reported several thousand people without power due to downed lines from falling tree limbs.

The storms brought with them some small hail, lots of thunder and lightning, and incredibly strong winds. If you walked through some neighborhoods, you might even think that a small tornado had briefly touched down and caused some damage.

But, Wednesday, June 19th, the National Weather Service confirmed that there was NO tornado on Sunday, and the Warning that went out was a false alarm.

So Why Was There a Tornado Warning Issued?

During storms, weather services rely on a number of resources to confirm a storm's status. Obviously radar, and other weather measuring instruments are important, but sometimes, they can be disrupted as a storm is moving through. That is when meteorologists rely heavily on spotters.

During Sunday's storm, just before 10 am, meteorologists received a call from local law enforcement that a "confirmed tornado" was on the ground seven miles southwest of Otsego, and traveling northeast with the storms.

With their instruments currently smack in the middle of the storm, the National Weather Service had to trust that this was an accurate call, and issued the warning. It only lasted for about 15 minutes before data confirmed that there was no rotation detected, or any debris in the air.

Will Haenni of WWMT explains it all perfectly as to what happened, AS WELL as why SOME people within the storm's path didn't end up receiving an emergency alert.


I did think it was strange that my apple watch got the alert, but my phone didn't. As it turns out, they were both using different cell towers at the time, one of which was NOT within the storm's path.

It's also worth noting, again, that I never heard a tornado siren in the Comstock area, despite some reports of sirens in neighboring communities going off.

So NO, there was no tornado, thankfully, but that's not to way the storm wasn't still pretty crazy.

Tornado Damage in Southwest Michigan on May 7th, 2024

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