WEST MICHIGAN — A strengthening low pressure center will move into the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley Sunday and will create conditions favorable for strong to severe storms to develop. Ahead of the low, southerly winds will start to pick up this afternoon and funnel in unseasonably warm, moist air. The strong low combined with warm and moist air will make for nearly ideal conditions for severe development throughout the afternoon Sunday.
Storms are likely to develop in late afternoon and quickly evolve into a squall line. The main threat with any storm that does develop will be damaging winds as winds could reach above 65 miles per hour in some storms. As storms morph into a squall line, the tornadic threat lessens however you cannot rule out a brief spin up as there will be quite a bit of wind shear present. Large hail will also be a possibility with any storm that does develop.
Although rare, November severe weather is not unheard of. Dixie Alley, which encompasses most of the southeast United States usually sees a secondary severe weather season in late October and early November, however it is much more rare to have a severe weather outbreak occur farther north in the month of November. So rare in fact that there has only been one reported tornado in Michigan in November. That tornado occurred on November 20th 1957 in Highland Park, just outside of Detroit. The tornado was short-lived but caused twelve injuries and one fatality.
The possibility of tornadic development Sunday is quite small, as conditions look to be more favorable for a straight line winds. Keep in mind that straight line winds are often just as damaging if not more damaging than tornadoes because straight line winds usually effect a larger area.
With a growing severe threat it is important to stay weather aware over the next few days especially if you have outdoor activities planned. The FOX 17 Weather team will keep an eye on this developing system as it moves into West Michigan and will keep you updated on FOX 17 News, Facebook and Twitter.