UPDATE: Severe threat over in Michiana area, damage remains
The severe threat is now over! We have numerous reports of damage. Please be careful if heading outdoors to survey.
LaGrange County Sheriff's department says their 911 center has taken nearly 150 calls in the last 45 minutes and has approximately 30 calls for service in regards to trees and power lines being down.
Outage map of Indiana Michigan Power service territory: CLICK HERE
5:30 update: Tornado WATCH for LaGrange County has been cancelled.
3:19 update: Confirmed tornado siting in Pulaski County. Take shelter immediately!
1:30 update: Reports of debris falling from the sky in parts of NE Illinois near Mazon. This cell is heading towards Cook County and NW Indiana (will move over the lake).
1:00 update: Severe storms lining up from Chicago to Bloomington, Illinois. These are heading right in our direction. They will be in our area from 1:30-4:30 p.m. EST. There has already been significant damage in Illinois from these storms, stay alert!
12:30 update: Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Fulton and Kosciusko County in IN until 1:15 p.m.
11:30 update:A Tornado Watch has been issued for all of our counties effective immediately until8:00pm ESTthis evening. No changes to the forecast... still looking at storms to develop early this afternoon and push through during the afternoon hours (2-5pm). Tornadoes are a threat, but damaging straight-line winds will be the main concern. These winds may gust up to 75+mph, which is easily enough to knock down trees and cause power outages.
Original story: While it's only been five days since some areas saw over a foot and a half of snow, our attention now turns to the possibility of strong to severe thunderstorms across all of northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Our StormTracker Weather team first alerted you to the potential last week, and we continue to track the storms are they approach our area.
The main threat is wide-spread damaging winds in excess of 70 mph, and isolated tornadoes can not be ruled out. Storms will develop in IllinoisSundaymorning and move through our areaSundayafternoon and early evening ahead of a cold front that will drop temperatures nearly fifty degrees. According to our local National Weather Service office, the top three tornado outbreaks in our area in the past 15 years have been during the autumn months, so it is not uncommon. Do NOT let the calendar and last week's snowfall fool you.
Unfortunately, if the area does see severe weather, it will most likely occur during the afternoon hours, which is when WSBT will air the Chicago Bears game. If a tornado warning is issued in any of thenorthern Indiana or southwest Michigan counties, the station will have no choice but to break into programming to keep viewers ahead of the situation. Please understand one of the main reasons local TV stations exist is to keep local viewers safe during inclement weather.
The Indiana Toll Road released the following:
A wind ban has been issued for the entire length of the Toll Road beginning today, Nov. 17, at 1 pm EST. The ban remains in effect until 1 am Nov. 18.This wind ban is in effect for all triple tractor-trailers, long-doubles and high-profile oversize permit loads (excluding low-profile steel haulers). Wind gusts could reach more than 45-60 mph and patrons are advised to drive with caution.
WSBT Meteorologist Matt Rudkin will bring you updates on the severe weather during the morning and afternoon.