Wild Weather Saturday

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jul 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-18 13:57:29-04

WEST MICHIGAN – What once looked to be the most calm of the weekend days got a lot more active just after the sun came up.  A storm system that had a history of severe weather moved across Lake Michigan and continued its intensity.

As it got closer to the West Michigan lakeshore, it continued to show the potential for 60 mph winds.  As a result, severe thunderstorm warnings were issued.

As this storm moved inland, we continued to receive several photos of very strange looking clouds.

(Courtesy: Ray Cochran)

(Courtesy: Stefanie Gromko)

So what causes such a cloud to form?  Warm, moist air rises over cooler, drier air to project a "shelf" like appearance.  These clouds can form in the presence of strong, straightline winds.  Other times they are often more ominous looking than they really are, and don't necessarily signify severe weather.

Skies then cleared out, and things began to heat up at a very quick pace.  Once threatening to hit 90 this afternoon for the first time in almost 2 years in Grand Rapids, that seems to be in jeopardy after the morning rain.

To top it off, we aren't done with rain chances later today!  The heat and humidity are two ingredients that will provide fuel for thunderstorms later on today, some of which have the opportunity to be severe.

The NWS Storm Prediction Center has portions of our area under "Enhanced" risk, which means numerous severe storms are possible.  Threats possible this afternoon include flooding rains, frequent lightning, damaging winds, large hail, and an isolated tornado.

Check out our new weather app, which will alert you when watches and warnings occur in your area. FOX 17 Weather App

We'll continue to update you on the air, and online at to bring you the latest as well.