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Isolated Severe Weather Possible In West Michigan Today. Watching Additonal Threats This Weekend

Summary:

The NWS Storm Prediction Center has expanded the Marginal Risk for today to encompass more of western and southwestern lower Michigan in its most recent Day 1 Severe Weather Outlook.


WMIWX Forecasters are still watching the potential for additional severe risks this weekend, especially on Sunday, as the overall weather pattern across the US ushers in more frequent/persistent warm, moist air that can often fuel severe weather potential.


Today (Tuesday 04/23/2024):


The bottom line up front is that there is a low risk for localized/isolated damaging wind gusts of 40 to 60 MPH and small to perhaps large hail to 1 inch in diameter possible later this afternoon and evening associated with low-topped thunderstorms that will move through the region. Current computer weather model data suggests that the greatest risk for severe weather will be around 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM depending on location.


Rain showers will overspread the region this morning and will continue through the lunch hour. This will result in a slim window for storms to develop and be sustained, however, the modestly favorable low-level jet winds and steep to very steep lapse rates (or how fast temperatures change with height) should allow for some storms to pose a threat for isolated damaging wind gusts and perhaps some large hail, especially across the western and southwestern portions of the Marginal Risk delineation along and west of the US-131 corridor.


The threat of tornadoes with any thunderstorms that develop today will be negligible (less than 2% across the area).


Weekend Severe Weather Threat(s):

A much more unstable weather pattern moves in beginning as early as Friday with several chances for rain and thunderstorms, along with considerable cloud cover.


This new weather pattern will usher in more frequent, perhaps more persistent, bouts of warm temperatures, moist air masses, and favorable wind dynamics to support more spring-like weather across the region. With this spring-like weather, however, comes the increased risk for severe weather and this weekend is no exception.


Currently, computer weather model guidance suggests that both Saturday and Sunday will have risks for thunderstorms and possibly severe weather, with the more favorable risk appearing to be on Sunday.


NWS Storm Prediction Center Day 6 Probabilistic Severe Weather Outlook - 15% Risk of Severe Weather

While western lower Michigan is not currently outlined in any extended range severe weather outlook from the SPC, we do see that there is a broad area of 15% Severe Risk from the SPC very close to us on the other side of Lake Michigan, in Illinois and far southern Wisconsin.


We'll need to watch Saturday and Sunday very closely for potential thunderstorms and severe weather risks.


The bottom line is that spring is here and we'll begin to see more severe weather threats as the weather pattern becomes warmer and wetter.

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