Large wave

As Hurricane Ian makes its way to Florida, I’m keeping everyone in the Sunshine State in my prayers. I have friends and family that live down there, as well as Michigan friends who go down for the winter, so it’s terrifying to see the size of this storm. I just hope it turns out to be less severe than predicted.

Here in Michigan, we don’t really get hurricanes. I mean, the technical definition of a hurricane, according to the Glossary of Weather and Climate edited by Ira W. Geer (via Weather.gov), is “a severe tropical cyclone with maximum 1-minute sustained surface wind speed greater than 64 knots (74 mph) in the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern North Pacific off the west coast of Mexico to the International Dateline. West of the Dateline they are known as typhoons.” So, just by our geography, we don’t qualify.

But, we do have the Great Lakes, and once, Michigan actually had a cyclone. So, it’s our own form of a hurricane. This happened back in 1996 and is known as Hurricane Huron. According to Wikipedia, Hurricane Huron was an “extremely rare, strong cyclonic storm system that developed over Lake Huron” whose “system resembled a subtropical cyclone at its peak, bearing some characteristics of a tropical cyclone.” It was also the very first time a storm like this had ever formed over the Great Lakes region.

Hurricane Huron formed on Sept. 11, 1996. As strong of a storm as it was, thankfully, it was over by the next day. The cyclone’s overall strength grew while moving over the Great Lakes, with surface sustained winds getting to a whopping 11 to 67 mph. By Sept. 12, a cold front rained on this cyclone’s parade (pun definitely intended), and the cyclone’s central pressure fell from 1012 mbar to 1006 mbar. This very rare storm is an example of how the right conditions can result in a very unexpected natural disaster- and why never to question the power of mother nature.

Michigan's Fastest Growing Towns in 2022

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!