All day the sultry air lay heavy and oppressive over central Michigan. Scudding up from the south, dark cumulus clouds reared their anvil-shaped heads into a leaden overcast. The flatlands sweltered as the temperature climbed to 90°. Aloft, cool winds raced down from the northern Rockies, rode over the blanketing heat. The black, moisture-laden thunderheads ballooned, formed a storm line which writhed eastward toward the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Suddenly, swirling like water draining from some giant bathtub, the tornadoes spun out of the clouds and swept across the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!