WEST MICHIGAN — Temperatures building into the 80s on Tuesday along with high humidity may help fuel the arrival of strong to possibly severe thunderstorms after midnight and into early Wednesday morning. The primary threat from these storms will be 75 mph wind gusts...especially along/north of I-96, plus large hail and perhaps an isolated, brief tornado. Our severe weather chances has been steadily increasing over the past few days when West Michigan went from a MARGINAL risk (the lowest category), to a SLIGHT risk, to now an ENHANCED risk. See image below from the Storm Prediction Center.
You can see below on our graphic where our dew point temperatures have climbed since Monday from the 50s (dry air), to well into the 60s (moist air). This moist air helps fuel thunderstorms.
After full sunshine all day and temperatures well into the 80s, heat and energy continue to build in the atmosphere. Again, another ingredient needed for severe weather, or the potential thereof. The late timing in the overnight hours of the storms will work in our favor to curb just how strong they would be had they rolled through in the evening. Regardless, it will still be in the 70s with plenty of humidity, so they chance of severe weather is still there. The amount of energy will be on the moderate side with strong winds in the atmosphere that could be brought down by the storms. This could also cause a few to spin. Below is a list of the primary threats that are possible. Hail size up to about an inch, wind gusts up to about 75 mph, and to a lesser threat, an isolated weak tornado. In addition, these storms will likely contain brief, heavy rain and lightning.
These storms are being generated by a low pressure system. You can see what our forecast model shows below between 2 and 3 A.M.
Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather. Should severe weather occur and severe weather warnings be issued, we'll either break into programming or cover it LIVE on our FOX 17 Facebook page.