Showers, Cold, Hail, and Lightning

Posted at 6:50 PM, Oct 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-19 22:14:26-04

WEST MICHIGAN – It sounds like a little of everything in the forecast, but that’s what we’ve seen thus far this weekend. Even a few breaks of sun have been present from time to time. As upper level disturbances rotate through the flow aloft, rain showers will continue Saturday night in to early Sunday morning before we see a break. That said, another low pressure area and frontal system will swoop in  to Michigan  later Sunday afternoon/evening and provide with another round of some rain showers.

The attached photo shows some small hail on the ground (on the air conditioning unit) as snapped by FOX 17 viewer Dianne Brennan in Kent City. Brief, heavy downpours have also occurred, along with gusty winds and lightning/thunder in some of the more potent cells. We also had several reports of a rain/snow mix, graupel, and sleet. I actually had one person submit a photo near the lakeshore that may have been a water spout (basically a tornado over water/Lake Michigan). You be the judge…check out the FOX 17 Facebook page to see it!

With such cool temperatures, we typically see/experience a low freezing level which promotes hail in some of these rain cells this time of year. The huge difference in temperature about 5,000 feet above the surface and the warmer waters of Lake Michigan creates enough instability and spin to produce water spouts as well. In fact, this is usually the best time of year to see them.

Our West Michigan forecast is for sharply cooler, below normal temperatures the next several days with a chance of showers each day. Unfortunately, we may actually see a few wet snow flakes mix in during the week from time to time as the colder Canadian air makes its way south in to the Great Lakes with highs expected mainly in the 40s most of the upcoming week. Get more at’t forget to post you weather photos to our FOX 17 Facebook page or send them to