Severe weather potential rises overnight

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 11:50:11-04

WEST MICHIGAN- A cold front is moving into our area over the next 12 hours and as a result, we're going to see the opportunity for severe weather overnight.

Even in the early morning hours of Thursday, flooding and wind damage has been reported in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  This area is one we'll have to monitor for further development this afternoon and evening, as this entire system sinks further to the south overnight.

Areas to the northwest are under an "enhanced" risk for severe weather.  This means tornadoes are possible in these locations.  You'll notice that half of our area is under a "slight" risk for severe weather overnight.  This has more to do with the timing of the storms than anything.  I would expect these storms to weaken a bit as they draw nearer, but the threat for some wind damage and hail is still there.

Let's talk timing now.  As early as 10 PM tonight, storms will develop along the front near Ludington, Hart, and other areas north.  As the storms develop, they'll move from west to east along the front.  This is when we may run into flooding concerns as some of these stronger thunderstorms may dump heavy rain over the same areas.  This is why I think flooding will be the main concern.

As this storm moves to the south, flood threat will be the highest, as I mentioned above.  Hail and wind threats will be lower as the storm weakens in the early morning hours, but still there.

To be more specific, we could see up to 2" in diameter hail and wind gusts of 70 mph.  I would not expect tornadoes to develop in our area, but anytime the Storm Prediction Center classifies part of our area in a 2% tornado risk, it's something to note. That may not sound like a big number, but it's certainly bigger than 0, so don't ignore it as a result.   Even as I edit this slightly before noon, flooding still looks like more of a widespread threat than the severe weather does for everyone.   Hail and damaging winds are certainly a close second, though, especially for those up north.