The worst of severe possible tonight now has a chance to make it into part of Lower Michigan. The late afternoon update from the Storm Prediction Center indicates widespread damaging wind gusts are possible overnight and very early tomorrow.
The area with the highest threat of the most severe weather is the southwest quarter of Lower Michigan. Here’s the latest overall severe weather chance forecast.
Ludington, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, South Haven, St. Joseph, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo are all now in the fourth level of a five level severe weather forecast.
The main threat is likely going to be straight-line winds. The Storm Prediction Center continues to move the highest threat of the strongest gusts into southwest Lower Michigan. The black hatched area below has a 10 percent chance of 75 mph gusts or greater.
The purple area above has a 45 percent chance of at least a 57 mph wind gust. Ludington, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, South Haven, St. Joseph, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo could have the strong, damaging wind gusts as the line of thunderstorms pass through. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids says wind gusts over 80 mph, while not likely, are possible.
These lines of storms can often produce brief tornadoes embedded in the line of storms. The spinning motion increases the wind gust speed that was originally occurring.
The green shaded area has a two percent chance of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point. It’s not a huge chance of tornadoes, but a much higher chance of straight-line winds.
Large hail shouldn’t be the main focus either in Lower Michigan. The storms would be large hail producers when they first form, putting the Upper Peninsula in the area that could have large hail.
The largest hail should stay in northern Wisconsin, where the black hatched area means two inch diameter or larger hail is possible.
Here is the always updated radar, so you can watch the storms develop this evening.
The thunderstorms should grow in coverage overnight, and enter West Michigan between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Here’s the radar forecast from a model that should have a fairly good handle on what’s going to happen.
The severe storms are possible in Ludington, Pentwater, Big Rapids and Muskegon between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. The storms would then move into the Grand Rapids area, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and possibly Lansing and Jackson between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
I’ll be watching it through the night. Check MLive for the latest tweaks to the severe weather forecast. Like the MLive Facebook page and allow notifications. If the thunderstorms become extreme damaging wind producers, I will go live on Facebook to track the storms with you.