Uncommon early fall severe weather threat tonight

Posted at 9:38 AM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 09:44:08-04

WEST MICHIGAN- We've already seen plenty of cooler nights and it's started to feel like fall.  We've only officially been into the fall season for a handful of days, but the signs that fall is here have been around for weeks.  We're weeks away from our first frost of the season, but we're still talking about severe weather today!

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the Great Lakes region for a potential severe weather threat later today.  A strong cold front and low pressure center in the midwest has many areas in the Midwest on higher alert for strong/severe storms later today.

One interesting note, however, is the elevated tornado threat suggested with this approaching storm.  The latest update includes more of us in a 5% risk for tornado development. 5% you say?  That doesn't sound like much, but in reality, that's semi significant.  Normally, our tornado chances are 0%, and anytime a tornado is involved, it's something that we need to monitor very closely.

Before you get nervous, let's put some of your worst fears to rest.  First of all, I think the majority of everyone avoids a tornado hitting their house.  This is going to be a very isolated event.  In terms of similarity to recent severe weather events, any tornadoes that develop will be very short lived, meaning they won't travel on the ground for miles upon miles.  The majority of people will deal with 40-60 mph wind gusts, with a few isolated higher gusts possible as well.  This is what I would prepare for, most of all.

Once again, the timing of this looks to be after 7 PM.  The storms will likely affect all of us after sunset, but I think after the front moves through, we'll see some light rain showers in the early morning hours before clearing out by daybreak.  The FOX 17 Weather App will send out notifications with the latest watches and warnings.