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Severe Weather Possible Overnight and Early Tomorrow, Then Again Tomorrow Evening


A somewhat complex, but rather typical, severe weather forecast is on the menu for tonight and tomorrow. A low-confidence, but widespread severe weather threat exists overnight tonight with a more localized threat tomorrow evening that is dependent on how the prior severe weather threat performs.

Overnight Tonight Into Early Tomorrow Morning:

The Storm Prediction Center has placed all of the western and central parts of the Lower Peninsula under a Marginal Risk (level 1/5) for severe weather driven by a 5-15% risk for Damaging Winds.

It appears likely that an MCS (Mesoscale Convective System - in this case; a squall line of storms with damaging wind potential) will develop over Minnesota and Wisconsin later this evening and track east/southeast towards the eastern Great Lakes region... but where? If storms develop further south near the Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin border then we will likely see the MCS miss lower Michigan to the southwest as it tracks largely through Illinois. However, if storms form further north, closer to the US-8 corridor in Wisconsin, then we will likely see the storms move across Lake Michigan and into lower Michigan just prior to daybreak on Tuesday.

Regardless of the track that this potential MCS takes, there remains at least, moderate uncertainty surrounding the intensity of any of these storms. A modest Cap (mechanism that prevents storms from firing) will be in place but strong winds at the mid-levels and aloft, combined with at least weak instability should support a low threat for damaging winds. However, that Cap, rather unfavorable arrival timing (away from peak daytime heating), and the lack of robust instability, may hamper the severe threat altogether.

Tuesday Late Afternoon/Evening:

After the early morning MCS potential our attention will, very quickly, turn towards the late afternoon and evening hours on Tuesday for additional severe weather potential, primarily along and south of the I-96 corridor, and especially the southwest portions of the I-94 corridor.

The Storm Prediction Center has outlined a Slight Risk (level 2/5) for severe weather driven by a 15-30% damaging wind threat, 5-15% large hail threat, and 2-5% tornado threat.

This remains a low-confidence forecast as well unfortunatley. Afternoon severe weather potential is highly dependent on if and where new storm development occurs, which in turn, is very highly dependent on how the morning MCS performs; if/when it arrives, when it moves out, what kind of environment is left behind, etc.

Some models are suggesting that new storm development will occur along a cold front, and/or perhaps an outflow boundary from the morning's storms and will track these new cells into southwest lower Michigan. Other models suggest that the cold front will be positioned to our southwest in Illinois and the storms will miss Michigan as they track from Illinois southeast into Indiana.

Regardless of the severe weather threat tomorrow evening, the risk for heavy rainfall and scattered flash flooding will also be a threat tomorrow, especially if we see a "training" effect of showers and thunderstorms.

The Weather Prediction Center has placed areas along and south of the I-94 corridor under a Slight Risk (level 2/4) for excessive rainfall - meaning there is a 15-39% chance that total rainfall amounts, or rainfall rates themselves, will exceed Flash Flood Warning criteria.

We'll hopefully have more details on these threats later this afternoon and will do our best to provide updates. It may be difficult, especially tomorrow morning - given the severe weather threat - to get a forecast discussion published for tomorrow afternoon. Make sure that you are following us on Social Media as that will be the easiest place for us to provide updates. Also, make sure you're following the National Weather Service on social media to get updates from them as well.

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