WEST MICHIGAN — Strong to severe thunderstorms are likely this evening and early overnight as a strong cold front approaches the state! The Storm Prediction Center states 80 mph wind gusts, up to 2.5″ size hail, and isolated tornadoes are all possible.
The storms continue to form in eastern Wisconsin along/ahead of the front and will be entering an atmosphere that is primed for severe weather development with high temperatures today that reached the lower 90s. The three main thunderstorm ingredients of moisture, lift, and instability are more than in place! The image attached to this story is simulated radar from our forecast model around 10 PM.
I would expect a well defined line of linear convection (thunderstorms) to form into what we call a squall line, then move in to West Michigan from the northwest, through Grand Rapids, and track southeast through the evening/early overnight. That means Oceana and Muskegon Counties will see these storms first as they drop south and east. The entire area remains under a SEVERE T’STORM WATCH until 2 AM.
Please be safe! Remember that a SEVERE T’STORM WATCH means that conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms…defined as having at least 58 mph winds and/or one inch size hail or larger. Severe thunderstorms often can and do spawn tornadoes! As we know from previous recent events, small, brief spin-up tornadoes like EF0 and EF1 are certainly possible within this line. Have a plan of action in place prior to the storms arriving.
A much cooler, drier air mass will arrive behind the front for Monday and the remainder of the week. Get the complete forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.