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Valid 06/25/2023


There is an Elevated Risk of Severe Weather (26% - 40%) across portions of the West Michigan Weather coverage area today. No change in the overall picture of the severe weather threat for this afternoon. We will keep the Elevated Risk in place for the same region as the Day 2 Outlook as this area looks most favorable for the development and sustainment of strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon.

 

The vast majority of the CAM's including the NAM 3km and HRRR continue to indicate a decent potential for a somewhat robust linear complex of strong to modestly severe thunderstorms. Primary concerns associated with this complex will be damaging winds and large hail though a highly conditional tornado threat does exist. Hail and tornado threats would likely be short-lived and would most likely apply to the early life cycles of any storms, especially if they can become isolated, prior to the linear complex forming with primarily outflow dominant winds being the primary concern. A Short Wave Trough is still forecasted to continue progressing into the Upper and Central Great Lakes Region late throughout the day today. By about 3 PM or so this tough and associated front/low pressure system will arrive in West Michigan either shortly before or right as we reach peak heating. This will prompt northward to southward thunderstorm development across the region somewhere near the US-131 corridor which will then track from west to east across the region as early as 3 PM this afternoon. The most likely time for strong to severe thunderstorms is between 3 PM and 9 PM EDT on Sunday.

 

Thermodynamics are still favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms especially since thunderstorm initiation is now forecasted to occur in such close proximity to the time of peak surface heating across much of the region. One concern that does exist in terms of limiting the thermodynamic environment is cloud cover, we'll discuss this later. Regardless of cloud cover, current CAM guidance suggests that surface temperatures will reach into the mid-upper 80's and into the low 90's across some areas. Surface CAPE along and north of I-196 continues to be forecasted over 1,000 J/kg with some areas getting as high as 2,000 J/kg, along and south of I-196 and inland of Lake Michigan we continue to see Surface CAPE forecasted between 2,000 and 2,750 J/kg with isolated values of up to 3,000 J/kg. DCAPE values are between 500 and 1,500 J/kg across much of the region. Surface dew points are forecasted to reach into the upper 60's and low 70's across much of west-central and southeastern lower Michigan. Associated dew point depressions will be around 10 or 15 degrees.

 

Kinematics remain modest at best with wind fields really not showing anything impressive. Nonetheless, average surface bulk shear is around 30 knots and elevated shear is around 35 or 40 knots which will be able to support a brief hail or weak tornado threat, as previously discussed, in the early stages of any storm complex or cell. The primary threat with wind fields like this will be damaging wind gusts.

 

Limiting factors that may reduce the potential for severe weather include the morning and early afternoon cloud cover that is in place over much of the region this morning. This is limiting the ability for the sun to increase surface temperatures across the region, though current model guidance suggests that we will have a brief period of about 3 hours this afternoon where this cloud cover will dissipate, allowing for surface temperatures to increase ahead of peak heating. It is still possible that this threat may still evolve entirely south of the WMIWX coverage area, though we don't currently anticipate this scenario coming to fruition.

 

Possible hazards within and around the severe weather risk delineation include:

  • Frequent lightning and torrential rainfall.

  • Widespread strong to damaging wind gusts of 35-57 MPH.

  • Widespread small hail up to nickel size in diameter.

  • Scattered damaging wind gusts of 60 MPH.

  • Scattered large hail events up to quarter size in diameter.

  • A couple of tornadoes possible.

  • Moderate flash flooding.

  • Extremely isolated damaging wind gusts up to 75 MPH.

  • Extremely isolated very large hail events up to 2 inches in diameter.

 

WMIWX Forecasters will continue to monitor this threat and will provide updates as necessary throughout the day via the 'Updates' section below and via Twitter and Discord at https://twitter.com/westmiwx and https://discord.gg/wmiwx

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