Parts of West Michigan could see severe storms this weekend

Posted at 5:03 PM, May 11, 2018

WEST MICHIGAN -- The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has now included southern portions of the FOX 17 viewing area in a Slight Risk for severe weather Saturday.

A Marginal Risk of severe weather extends northward from the Slight Risk area, to just south of the I-96 corridor.

A warm front will be nearly stalled to our south, and upper level impulses or disturbances moving along it will trigger rounds of showers and thunderstorms. Hail of over one inch in diameter will be the primary threat with any severe storms, with high winds of up to 60 mph being a secondary threat. Tornadoes look highly unlikely in this scenario.

Counties along the Indiana state line have the best chance of seeing severe weather, as this graphic from the SPC shows:

The reason for hail being the primary concern in this scenario is that temperatures will be cold; supporting a freezing level that is close to the ground for this time of year.

In addition, heavy rain will also be a threat for much of West Michigan, especially from I-96 southward. As the below graphic shows, some areas to the south of Grand Rapids could pick up over two inches of rain from Friday night through Sunday morning:

It looks like the main clusters of thunderstorms will come in two waves. The first one will most likely come sometime around or just after sunrise on Saturday morning:

The second one is expected to arrive sometime late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning:

These two waves of thunderstorms will both likely include heavy rainfall. Hail and/or wind reaching severe criteria is also possible with these two rounds of storms. We'll be watching the convective weather closely this weekend, so be sure to stay tuned to FOX 17 for updates!