GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Much of West Michigan will see periods of showers and storms during the day Wednesday, but the primary threat of severe weather is likely to miss the area to the south late in the day.
A few mostly light rain showers moved through the area early Wednesday, with a more widespread area of weakening thunderstorms to the west. That rain will move across the lake around midday and affect parts of the region into the afternoon. While it is not impossible that this line may strengthen a bit, it is expected to remain mostly below severe limits.
Along the southern fringe and in the wake of this line, additional storms are expected to develop and strengthen late in the afternoon into the evening. These storms are the ones that have the possibility to bring severe weather to parts of the southern Great Lakes, including Chicago and possibly the southern end of lower Michigan, especially along and south of I-94.
The greatest threat would be damaging straight-line wind gusts, although there is also a significant tornado potential relative to what is typical of the region.
The latest severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center has shifted the highest risk area a bit further to the south, taking the “Moderate” risk outline south of the Indiana border:
The Center also lowered the forecast probability of tornadoes, down from a widespread 10% earlier. Note that 5% is still fairly high for this part of the country.
By far, the biggest threat is from damaging straight-line winds as storms develop later:
We’ll continue to provide updates as the forecast evolves during the day. You can always find interactive radar and the rest of the 7 Day Forecast on the Weather page.