Heavy Rain, Hail, Lightning Tear Through West Michigan

Posted at 8:18 PM, Jun 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-18 20:18:05-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 18, 2014) — Two separate rounds of severe thunderstorms tore through West Michigan Wednesday. The first was early in the morning and the second occurred in the early to mid afternoon. Heavy rain, vivid frequent lightning, and golf ball size hail (in some cases) accompanied these storms.

Norton Shores picked up the most rain with about 4.6 inches being recorded in just one day. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH remains in effect for most of the area until Thursday morning. Strong to severe storms produced torrential rainfall in some areas creating ponding water and flash flooding.

Wednesday actually capped off a day that was expected to be quite active with storms as a frontal boundary was draped over the area. As the front sinks further south (outside of the state) we should see a mainly dry day on Thursday. Our next chance of widespread storms comes in on Friday when another front approaches the state. No risk for severe weather at this time.

While heavy rain, frequent lightning, and hail were reported, there were only a few reports of actual wind damage. Most gusts did not exceed about 50 to 55 mph. That said, we did receive several reports of trees limbs and branches down in some areas along with scattered power outages.

A thanks in advance to all that submitted weather photos and reports via email and/or social media. The shelf clouds (like the one in this story) were quite impressive as they hung across the sky. These shelf clouds are created from thunderstorms outflow winds as they move forward. The cloud appears as a “shelf” hanging across the sky. They do not produce tornadoes. If the cloud rolls on a horizontal axis it’s considered a roll cloud. The attached photo was snapped in Wayland by Joel O’Connell.

Get the complete West Michigan forecast at Don’t forget summer officially arrives this Saturday!