How much rain has fallen…how much more to come?
WEST MICHIGAN — I always joke with folks on the street when inclement weather arrives and I say “I hate when I’m right”! Not to worry…I’ll keep my day job, but we mentioned for several days ahead of this soggy system that a significant soaking was coming. I managed to get my mower running and lawn trimmed BEFORE the rain arrived Saturday. Many locations here in West Michigan will see between two to three inches of rain (before this system exits later Tuesday) with lighter amounts well south/east of Grand Rapids.
The image attached to this story is RADAR ESTIMATED precipitation over the last 48 hours. Note the heaviest rain in red has fallen across southern Missouri, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana. Those totals are in the eight to nine inch range!
So how much rain has fallen thus far in West Michigan? As of Sunday evening here’s the list:
Comstock Park 2″
East Grand Rapids 1.8″
Grand Rapids 1.6″
Grand Junction 1.5″
Cedar Springs 1.5″
Spring Lake 1.2″
Mount Pleasant 1.2″
I should also note this is part of the same system that created tornadoes across Texas killing at least eight people. It’s also the same system that has generated snow across Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. There has also been significant flooding with five to nine inches of rain across portions of the Midwest and Mid-Mississippi Valley. Why so much rain? This system is tapping a substantial amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that is being drawn up all the way to Michigan and even in to Canada. It also has enough cold air behind it to produce snow as we’ve seen in some states the past couple of days.
Take a look at the upper level forecast model valid for Monday evening at around 18,000 feet (or 500 millibars for you weather geeks). It’s easy to see the huge upper level low (or “L”) over Wisconsin. It’s all part of a huge upper level trough that typically brings unsettled weather, cooler temperatures, and cloudy/wet conditions. This low will not lift completely out of our region until Later Tuesday/early Wednesday…hence the threat for showers continue with at least another half inch to one inch possible. The colors in yellow and orange show the energy (creating lift) that rotate around these lows.
We may actually see some brief clearing Monday morning directly behind the cold front in the area Meteorologists refer to as the “dry slot”, but more clouds will roll back in and more showers are likely underneath the upper level part of the low pressure area Monday afternoon, evening, and right in to Tuesday…although somewhat lighter precipitation. Take a look at a snapshot of FutureTrack HD at 10 A.M. Monday morning…you can see some brief clearing is possible directly behind the front.
Severe weather with this system for West Michigan is NOT likely…the best threat remains south of our state. Make sure to keep an eye on area rivers, creeks, streams, and tributaries as water levels are on the rise and FLOOD WATCHES, WARNINGS, and ADVISORIES have been posted. Remember, most of this bigger river basins will NOT crest until two or three days AFTER the rain stops! We’ll get the chance the dry out the remainder of the week as mainly dry weather is expected Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. If you have any rainfall totals or photos, feel free to post them on our FOX 17 Facebook page. Have a pleasant week.