(WEST MICHIGAN) — A strong low pressure system will move out of the plains today and move towards West Michigan. Ahead of the system, winds out of the southwest will funnel in warm and moist gulf air. Temperatures are likely to climb Thursday into the upper 60’s, and if rain holds off some areas could see 70.
A few rounds of thunderstorms are expected Thursday, the first round likely early in the morning hours will be non-severe but bring the hazard of heavy rains and gusty winds. By afternoon, any sunshine will increase the threat for storms to develop ahead of the front. Any storm that forms in the afternoon will likely have the ingredients to become strong to severe. Areas along and south of I-94 will be among the greatest threat as the energy and environment are forecasted to be more conducive to severe storms. The main threat will be small hail, damaging winds, heavy rains and an isolated tornado. The third threat for severe weather would be late Thursday as the cold front moves through. As the front moves through you can expect gusty winds, heavy rains and small hail.
Behind the cold front, temperatures will drop and the severe threat will decrease quickly. The secondary threat at this point becomes the flooding issue. The National Weather Service has issued flood watches for the entire area as we could see anywhere from two to four inches of rain over the next 48 hours. Ground soil is already at maximum capacity and rivers and streams are already out of their banks. Adding another two to four inches would likely overwhelm storm sewers, rivers and streams creating an urban flood hazard.
We will continue to monitor this slow-moving system and bring you updates tonight on Fox 17 News at 5, 6 and 10pm and first thing tomorrow morning from 5am to 9am.