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Severe Weather Still Possible This Sunday

The Storm Prediction Center risk for Sunday remains unchanged locally. Varying computer weather model solutions are precluding higher confidence in severe weather potential for this particular forecast.

Overnight, models generally agreed that the best instability, and therefore, the best potential for strong to severe storms, would be kept to the south of the Michigan state line. However, a couple of models do suggest that either the low-pressure system that will be driving these storms will take on a more northerly track allowing for greater instability and storm potential here in West Michigan OR that enough instability may be realized here in Michigan regardless of the track of the low-pressure system.

As is common for Michigan severe weather risks, we will have early morning rain showers, perhaps with a few embedded rumbles of thunder, moving through the region until midday or so. The caveat this causes when looking at later severe weather potential is that substantial uncertainty remains surrounding the ability for CAPE, in layman's terms; storm energy juice, to develop in the environment behind the morning rain showers. Computer weather models don't always have the greatest ability to take this caveat into account accurately and it often becomes the case that the forecast relies, very heavily, on what we call "now-casting." This means that we often have to rely on surface weather measurements on the day of the potential event to make an accurate prediction on what may happen and hence, forecasting in advance, even on the day before the event, is rather difficult.

One thing that is becoming more clear however is that Sunday will be a soaker with multiple rounds of rain and storms possible. Computer weather models suggest that as much as 1.5 inches of precipitable water may be available through Sunday evening. Therefore, a regional threat of heavy rainfall and an associated low-end flash flooding risk will be realized across the area. The WPC has placed much of Lower Michigan under a Marginal Risk (level 1/4) for Excessive Rainfall on Sunday.

The bottom line with this forecast is that things are subject to change. There is a risk for heavy rainfall, flash flooding, and severe weather across much of the area and we need to remain #WeatherAware and await additional forecast guidance as we head into Sunday.

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