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Low Confidence In Severe Weather For West Michigan Today


The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has placed parts of western lower Michigan under a Slight Risk (level 2/5) for severe weather today. While some models do show a rather robust-ish severe threat, the low confidence surrounding those possibilities precludes higher risk levels, as well as our ability to really nail down the threats for today.


The bottom line is that there is at least some risk for severe weather today across northern lower Michigan, focused on an area along and northwest of a line from Grand Haven to Alpena.


When we try to break down a severe weather risk we're looking at 4 main 'criteria' that characterize that risk level: Geographic coverage of severe storms, the duration of the threat for severe storms, overall forecast confidence, and the potential intensity of said severe weather.



What is limiting this risk is most certainly primarily the low level of confidence associated with this risk, and while computer weather models are starting to come together on a somewhat unified outcome, there are still a lot of uncertainties within the forecast for this risk.


  1. We have shower and thunderstorm activity across the region this morning. This is less affectionately known in the weather community as "risk-killers" because it often drains the environment that later, more robust convection would need to sustain a severe threat.

  2. The greatest threat for severe weather will likely be after sunset. Radiational cooling and increasing atmospheric stability by this stage of the evening often limit severe potential as well/

  3. The greatest threat for severe weather is still expected to occur north of our coverage area, towards the Traverse City area and points east.


Still, a low-end "all-hazards" risk will be in play today with a threat for damaging wind gusts, large hail, and perhaps an isolated tornado. Heavy rainfall, possibly with a low-end flash flooding threat will also exist today across southwest lower Michigan.



We'll provide additional updates throughout the day as necessary.

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