Derecho storm with 150 mph winds hit Michigan in 1980

A storm on July 16, 1980, quietly rolled in, bringing green skies and a tornado to southeast Michigan with it.


After a night of stormy skies July 15, the morning of the 16th started off with bright skies before a band of dark clouds quickly darkened the sky again. A storm system known as a derecho moved in from the west, turning the skies a dark green, according to the National Weather Service.
A derecho is a storm that brings strong winds, typically stronger than 57 mph, and can bring tornadoes and the destruction of a strong tornado, according to NWS.


The derecho storm of July 16, 1980, rolled in and out of lower Michigan quickly, beginning around 8:30 a.m. and out before 10 a.m. With it came wind gusts above 100 mph in Wayne County and exceeding 150 mph in Washtenaw County.


As a result of the raging winds, boats in the Detroit River were swamped, buildings and cars were destroyed and power was out for as many as 10 days for some.


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A tornado was reported to have accompanied the storm as it moved out of Michigan. Despite the countless damaged buildings and vehicles damaged by the winds, no injuries or fatalities were associated with the storm, according to the NWS.
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