LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — One of the places that was hit hardest by last week’s thunderstorms was Jackson.
But what caused these storms to develop?
In Jackson, they formed from something known as an outflow boundary.
Typically, there are preexisting thunderstorms and in our case, these were the storms over in towards Kalamazoo, and within this thunderstorm, we have some cold air aloft.
Since it’s heavier than the rest of the air in the environment it will begin to sink down to the ground and begin to spread out.
When there is a hot and humid air mass on the other side of it, and that wedge will lift the warm and humid air up into the atmosphere.
As that air rises, a new thunderstorm will develop, and like what we saw down in Jackson last week, that new thunderstorm can have some very heavy rainfall associated with it.
The outflow boundaries don’t just cause heavy downpours, they can generate some pretty strong winds, knocking down trees or power lines.
Thunderstorms can be a hassle for pilots as well, making a more difficult to take care of our land due to the shifting and increasing winds with the boundary line.