Yesterday we had a brief period of sunshine which lasted maybe half an hour. Even with all the clouds we still had no rain in Otsego. It has been 18 days since we had more than a tenth of an inch of rain.
Yesterday’s high was 77° and the low was 64°. Sunrise today is 7:22, sunset is 7:54 pm.
Today will be the best chance for widespread rain across the southern lower peninsula then we begin another long dry spell with temps rising well into the 80s.
Severe storms will be possible late this afternoon through the early evening. These may not affect all of West Michigan though, as they will likely develop east of US 131 and move southeast. The risk to see severe storms is higher south and east of a line from St. Joseph to Ionia to Saginaw. The main risk from severe storms will be wind damage to trees and power lines, but we may also see large hail. An isolated tornado is not out of the question. The heavy downpours during rush hour could increase the chance for hydroplaning and localized flooding.
Convective Outlook from the SPC
A shortwave trough will move across the upper Great Lakes today, with a surface low moving from Upper MI into Ontario. A cold front will trail south from the low, oriented roughly from southeast Lower MI into eastern IL by 00Z. Ahead of the front, mid to upper 60s F dewpoints will be common, along with good heating resulting in 2000+ J/kg MUCAPE by late afternoon. Deep-layer shear will be most favorable over northern parts of MI, with up to 60 kt into Upper MI. However, instability will be greatest farther south where shear will be less. Isolated strong storms will be possible early in the day, but the greatest threat will be with storms along the front after 21Z from central Lower MI into IL. Linear forcing along the front suggest wind may be the primary concern, but hail will also be possible.
- Storms late afternoon with cold front Not much change from our previous thinking today. It still looks like strong to severe storms are likely east of GRR late this afternoon into this evening. This is actually a somewhat complex situation. What sets off the storms is a southern stream shortwave, currently over Iowa. It is when that shortwave moves over the front after 2 pm that the storms really develop. Until then we have surface convergence with little upper divergence. However, when that shortwave comes over the front after 2 pm the upper divergence increases dramatically. As for the severe weather event itself, the presence of steep level lapse rates continues evidenced by the hail reports seen the last 2 days. More than 30 knots of deep layer shear across our CWA will help organize the storms. Though the strongest shear is further north. We have moist air below 600 mb (RH above 70 pct) with a dry layer from 600 mb to 500 mb (RH <10 pct). There is another moist layer above that. This all results in Dcape over 1000 j/kg. The EL is near the trop (good for severe storms), precipitable water is around 1.7", a good indicator for the potential for heavy rain. Along with the above is the presence of fat cape in the -10 to -30c range of the forecast sounding. The SARS sounding analogs shows nearly a dozen cases of hail greater than 1 inch for this sort of sounding. While tornados will remain an outside threat, 0-1km SRH will be strongest through SE MI during the early evening hours. So it would seem straight line winds, large hail and locally heavy rainfall would be the most likely hazards for this event. Storms will be racing east around 40 knots so I do not see a threat of more than localized flooding. Once the front comes through the skies should become at least partly cloudy and temperatures will turn cooler along with dew points falling into the 50s. However, temperatures will remain above normal into Wednesday morning. - Quiet weather Wednesday into Thursday For Wednesday into Thursday, we are actually south of the primary polar jet with the system coming through today. The jet approaches the region Wednesday morning but it quickly lifts out as the next Pacific system tracks along in the upper level flow. That system will track east north of the Canadian boarder. We will have surface high pressure and upper level ridging over the state Thursday. This will result in considerable sunshine during the day with light winds and warmer afternoon temperatures. - Next front stalls near us early in weekend That second system that tracks east over central Canada during the mid week period trails a cold front into our area Friday. This front looks to stall over central lower Michigan Saturday before lifting north as a warm front Sunday. This of course could mean more scattered showers and thunderstorms. Unlike the systems we`ve had over the last few days Friday`s front lacks mid level moisture and dynamic forcing The result will be some showers but little threat of strong to severe storms. Any storms should be weak and isolated. Most of the precipitation, what little there would be, will likely be north of I-96. - Surge of very warm temperatures Sunday into Tuesday Currently there is a fairly strong system over the western Pacific just east of Japan. That system will reach the west coast of the United States this coming weekend. It is expected to dig a large upper trough over the western North America as far south as Nevada. That will build another one of those large eastern upper ridges. It still looks like we will be in just sweet spot for hot temperatures Sunday into Tuesday. Even the ensembles of the GFS give us highs in the mid to upper 80s Sunday into Tuesday. The ECMWF ensembles give us highs in the mid 80s. By then our normal highs are in the lower 70s and lows are normally around 50. We could be running 10 to 15 degrees above normal for 3 or 4 days if this really happens.