WEST MICHIGAN — There is still a Slight Risk of severe thunderstorms late this afternoon and into this evening for the entire FOX 17 viewing area, consistent with what we discussed earlier this week. The main severe threat with any thunderstorms that develop will be damaging wind gusts of 60 mph or higher. Large hail and tornadoes look unlikely in this case, but we will also have to watch for the possibility of locally heavy rain and flash flooding.
Here is a look at the latest day 1 outlook from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC):
And here is a summary of the severe weather threats we will be watching for this evening:
As of now, it appears the 7:00 P.M. to midnight time frame is the most likely window of opportunity for severe weather. Here is what Future Track shows this evening:
If the above scenario pans-out, this would likely be a line of storms with high winds -- possibly at 60 mph or greater.
The development of severe thunderstorms will once again largely hinge on the amount of sunshine we see this afternoon, and on how warm our temperatures get. As of this writing, most of the area is reporting cloudy or mostly cloudy skies. Temperatures are generally in the 70s along and north of I-96, thanks to the heavier morning rain and resultant cloud cover this morning.
However, areas along and south of I-94 are significantly warmer due to little or no rainfall this morning. Although much of the area is reporting mostly cloudy skies as of this writing, Benton Harbor is reporting some sunshine now and we expect that sun could penetrate further east as the afternoon wears on. Temperatures over our southern counties are generally in the 80s already, and could get near 90° or into the lower 90s for highs with enough sunshine. Here is a look at temperatures as of noon:
Any sunshine will likely lead to a more unstable environment for thunderstorms well to the south of I-96 today, with the target area for active storms being along and south of I-94. This doesn't mean that the threat for severe weather further north is zero, it just means the environment for severe weather looks better further to the south.
After a line of stronger or severe storms potentially goes through the area this evening, there could still be some showers and non-severe storms rolling through after midnight with locally heavy rain still possible. But a cold front rolling through the area Saturday morning will put an end to this activity, resulting in cooler, less-humid, and rain-free weather for the balance of the weekend.
There is a chance of storms later in the 7 day planner, however. Stay tuned to FOX 17 for further updates!