Warm and dry Saturday afternoon, but more rain is coming

Posted at 7:18 AM, Apr 15, 2017

WEST MICHIGAN — After a damp start to your Saturday, drier air along with some sunshine is on the way to the FOX 17 viewing area.

Temperatures are already in the middle to upper 60s in neighboring states to our southwest, behind a warm front that will steadily make its way through the area this morning. Here is a look at where that warm front is as of this early morning writing:

A warm southwesterly wind along with plenty of sunshine will boost our temperatures into the 70s and 80s this afternoon:

We're actually forecasting a high of 80° in Grand Rapids this afternoon. This would be a little shy of our record high of 84° set on this date in 2003, but it would be the first time we've hit 80° so far in 2017. In fact, the last time we broke the 80 degree mark was back on September 22nd of last year.

After this unseasonably warm afternoon, our attention will shift from temperatures back to rainfall. The cold front shown above in the eastern Dakotas will be making it's way across the Great Lakes late tonight. This will bring showers and storms back to the area, mainly after midnight:

According to one of our models, the European, over a half-inch of additional rain is on the way late tonight into early tomorrow morning:

The North American Model isn't nearly as aggressive with rainfall, suggesting 0.1" to 0.2" in most areas:

In reality, rainfall totals will probably fall somewhere in between the above model forecasts. Most of us will probably see around a quarter inch of rain, with a half inch possible in spots, especially well to the south of I-96.

The showers will taper off to an end by 11 AM on Easter Sunday, then expect gradual clearing with highs in the upper 60s. More rain is a good bet on Tuesday night and again on Thursday. Overall, temperatures will be running above average over the next seven days.