GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A storm system could bring damaging winds to western Michigan tonight and then heavy rain overnight.
The Storm Prediction Center has much of western Michigan in the mild or improved categories (level two and three, respectively, out of five) and upgraded parts of southwestern Michigan, including South Haven and Kalamazoo, to the moderate level (four out of five, respectively). five) .
The time frame for the most severe wind threats is between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The Storm Prediction Center will likely issue some sort of watch. Be prepared for the possibility of high winds and secure any items on your deck or patio.
Severe straight line wind is still listed as the top threat, but all severe weather threats are still in play, including a tornado. Winds well above ground are expected to be up. This means that the thunderstorms that do form will be moving very quickly and could often mix up powerful gusts of wind at the surface.
The Storm Prediction Center has also placed Southwest Lower Michigan in a “flagged” area, indicating the threat of wind gusts of 75 mph or greater. In other words, we have a 30% chance of receiving a wind gust of 75 or greater within a 25 mile point. This has the characteristics of a bow echo and/or a right event.
One or two fast-moving tornadoes are also possible on the leading edge of any developing storm line. They tend to form and dissipate very quickly. Sometimes they form so quickly that a storm warning cannot be issued before the tornado dies down and breaks up.
Fast-spinning tornadoes would likely be very few and far between. Wind speeds of 80 to 95 mph are also likely. This is enough to take down trees and power lines, but it’s not as powerful as the tornado that struck Gaylord, Michigan earlier this season.
Thunderstorms and their direct path can be quite difficult to forecast before they develop. For example, here is the interpretation of two different models. The Baron 3K is on the left and the HRRR on the right. Note that they both have severe thunderstorms but at two different times along with a slightly different location.
Southwest Michigan has been relatively devoid of severe weather this spring and early summer. Statewide, we’ve only had 47 severe weather reports, while Wisconsin has had 130. There’s no question we’ll be adding those reports today throughout the Midwest.
Wherever storms form, Storm Team 8 will be monitoring the sky and Radar and will relay any severe weather information to you and your family.