WEST MICHIGAN — The forecast for this weekend has been slowly, but surely, improving over the past few days. We will take it! Look for sunshine to carry into this afternoon though clouds will increase late afternoon into early evening. Enough hours of bright conditions will take temperatures into the upper 50s by day's end.
A weak disturbance will arrive this evening bringing the chance for showers along the Lake Michigan shoreline as early as say 7/8 P.M. and into Grand Rapids by as early as 9 P.M. or so. This activity will go into the overnight but it will be fairly light and it will diminish for the most part before sunrise. Overnight lows stay milder and only drop into the lower half of the 40s.
Easter Sunday is to shake out mostly cloudy, but with many dry hours and increasingly breezy southeast winds during the afternoon, we will see temperatures make a move for the lower 60s by evening. Models have indicated for days that sprinkles or light spotty showers can be possible during the day but a closer inspection of the maps does not reveal much in the way of any upper-level forcing during much of the daylight stretch. This means that any showers should be indeed quite spotty and dry time should be realized for many locations until we get into the evening.
As a strengthening area of low pressure approaches from the southwest, moving northeastward from Missouri into Illinois by early evening Sunday, we will begin to see rainfall increase in coverage from south to north across our viewing area. This rain will be most widespread and notable from mid-late evening Sunday through mid-morning Monday. Low pressure will pass from western Illinois to central Lake Michigan in the early hours of Monday. This is a warm track for West Michigan and will keep us on the rainy side of this system.
Rain amounts will not be tremendous but will likely range from .50" - .75" to as much as 1.00" of water. These amounts will be total from tonight's ( Saturday night ) showers combined with Sunday night / Monday morning's rain.
As low pressure continues to move northeastward through Monday morning, it will be deepening, or strengthening, as it does so. By late in the morning, the system will have moved into the province of Ontario, Canada and southwest Michigan will be in the tight pressure gradient that will have materialized on the system's backside. Very windy conditions will start to crank up just before sunrise Monday and will continue into Monday evening. Sustained westerly winds can be expected between 20-35 mph with gusts to 50-55+ mph for the late morning and afternoon period.
A Wind Advisory or High Wind Warning will likely be necessary as we get closer to the event. Waves near the Lake Michigan shoreline will likely max out between 10-14 feet and obviously beach erosion and low-lying flooding will be a problem once again. A Lakeshore Flood Advisory or Warning will undoubtedly be issued with time by the National Weather Service. Winds will continue to be brisk Monday evening but will slowly be backing down from their peak levels with time.
Expect rain to taper off during the late Monday morning period from southwest to northeast as low pressure departs and even a bit of afternoon sun may emerge as a dry slot works into the region.
Tuesday turns out fairly windy as well with sustained winds between 15-20 mph and gusts still at 30+ mph at times. These winds will diminish noticeably by later Tuesday afternoon and especially Tuesday evening.