WEST MICHIGAN — Finally…some fairly widespread shower and thunderstorm activity occurred across a good portion of West Michigan on Tuesday afternoon. A pre-frontal troff (ahead of the main cold front that arrives Wednesday night/Thursday morning) and Lake Michigan breeze generated a developing line of storms Tuesday mid-afternoon.
Locations along the immediate lakeshore missed out on the needed showers thanks to the stabilizing effects of Lake Michigan. The image attached to this story is radar estimated precipitation. Any areas in green received rain, some torrential downpours here and there, while others got lighter amounts. The heaviest rain fell in Kentwood. In less than 30 minutes 2.25 inches of rain occurred. We picked up .62″ in Grand Rapids, but we’re still running a 2.3″ deficit over the past two months!
There were also a hand-full of locations that reported some branches and tree limbs down and we officially had only one severe thunderstorms warning issued for southern and eastern portions of Kent County for the possibility of 60 mph winds and quarter-size hail. The highest recorded wind gust I could find was in Ionia at 54 mph. 58 mph qualifies (technically) as severe.
We’ll look for the possibility of more strong to severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon/evening/overnight as a strong cold front approaches the state. Large hail and damaging winds are the primary threats, but the high moisture content and soupy feel to the atmosphere may also yield more heavy rain and torrential downpours. Click here for the SPC Storm Prediction Center outlook.
The cold front will clear the area later Thursday morning, ending our rain chances, and we’ll see/feel a cooler, drier air mass filter in by late in the day! More heat builds next week. By the way…thus far, Grand Rapids has reached 90 degrees or higher 11 times this season!