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Severe thunderstorms possible later this week

Best chance Thursday afternoon into Friday
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Posted at 2:22 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 16:43:12-04

WEST MICHIGAN — Hot and humid weather for the middle of the week could provide the fuel needed for some active thunderstorms by Thursday and Friday. We just need some type of forcing (from a warm front, cold front, or some other boundary) to help trigger these thunderstorms.

On Wednesday morning, we might have that forcing available as a warm front trudges through the area during the morning hours. Although it appears the better chance of severe weather will be over sections of northern and Upper Michigan when that warm front pushes through during the afternoon, there is still an outside threat here. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has much of the area in a Marginal Risk for severe weather on Wednesday morning.

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The primary threat with these storms (if they materialize) would be large hail of up to 1" in diameter. Locally heavy rainfall will also be possible. Here is how Future Track HD sees things early on Wednesday morning.

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As the above image implies, the better chance of significant thunderstorm activity will be near and north of Grand Rapids, and east of U.S.-131. And once again, northeast of the viewing area when the warm front moves into places like Alpena and Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday, we expect a hot and humid day with a cold front slowly approaching from the northwest. This front could trigger some severe thunderstorms in the early to mid-afternoon to our north and west, some of which could reach West Michigan by late afternoon and evening. The cold front will combine with favorable conditions aloft to produce storms with damaging wind potential. Therefore, the SPC has most of the area in a Slight Risk for severe weather Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening:

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Again, damaging winds in excess of 60 mph will be the main threat with these storms. Large hail will be a secondary threat on Thursday late afternoon and evening:

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As of now, Future Track HD doesn't show much activity this far to the south, other than a widely scattered line of storms stretching from north of Chicago to Detroit.

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Despite this lack of activity in this particular model, we will still have to be on guard as conditions may support strong to severe thunderstorms later in the day on Thursday.

On Friday, we will also have to watch for the possibility of severe thunderstorms with damaging wind potential. Conditions look similar to Thursday, only that cold front will continue to edge closer to the area. This could provide better forcing for the rapid development of thunderstorms over our area.

Stay tuned to FOX 17 for further updates on these thunderstorms, as well as a look ahead at a cool-down coming over the weekend!