Funnel cloud formed

Thunderstorms produce unusual meteorological formation

This image, taken by Wayne Siira of Houghton at about 8:10 p.m. Monday, clearly shows a funnel cloud near the city of Houghton. There were a handful of damage reports on social media later into the evening hours. (Photo courtesy of Wayne Siira)

HOUGHTON — Thunderstorms on Monday evening downed power lines and trees, and funnel clouds were observed in Houghton and Baraga counties, but many of the roads repaired from the June 17 flash flood were still intact.

The National Weather Service in Negaunee received reports of the funnel clouds late Monday evening, but no confirmed tornado formed or touchdown occurred with the formations quickly dissipating, said NWS meteorologist Jaclyn Ritzman. The images revealed no circulation in the formations, she said.

With the high humidity and storm front observed Monday it “doesn’t take much” to create funnel cloud formations like those seen, she said.

The area was hit with 1-2 inches of rainfall, with 3 inches in 24 hours reported near Twin Lakes.

Around the county, downed power lines and trees were seen with a major lightning strike at the West Houghton water tank blowing fuses and the meter off the building, said City Manager Eric Waara.

The swollen banks at the Houghton Lakefront Park are seen following heavy rain on Monday. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Kali Katerberg)

The Houghton Department of Public Works had things under control within the hour, and an electrician will examine the structure later today, he said.

A funnel cloud was reported in the area of Houghton High School on Monday evening.

The road patches from flooding earlier in the summer mostly held, Waara reported, with a few ready-to-pour sidewalk projects washing out.

“As far as we know… nothing too severe,” he said.

Sunday also saw heavy rainfall with a wide range of totals, 5.96 inches over 24 hours in Twin Lakes and 1.26 on the Quincy Hill. Similarly to the Monday storm, roads held with a bit of dirt and gravel cleanup in Lake Linden as of Monday afternoon, said village Clerk Bob Poirier.

The region should see light rainfall today and lower temperatures.