Welcome to Autumn – Weather History

With the changing of the seasons comes the cloudy, cool and soggy air right on cue.  We had .59 of an inch of rain yesterday which brings us to .79 of an inch for the month.  Our high temperature yesterday was 74° which was just after midnight, our low was 57°.

We expect another cloudy day today with rain with the heaviest south and east of Grand Rapids.  Periods of moderate to heavy rain will continue across portions of Southern and Eastern Lower Michigan. Flooding is possible from Battle Creek and Lansing off to the east. It will be a cool day with highs holding in the upper 50s to lower 60s. It will turn windy today, especially near Battle Creek, Lansing and Jackson.

The Flood Watch continues for

* A portion of south central Michigan, including the following
  areas, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Jackson.

* Through Thursday morning.

* Moderate to occasionally heavy rain is expected through Thursday
  morning. Rain totals over 4 inches are possible.

* Minor flooding of low areas and some rivers and streams will be

Weather History for SW Michigan

September 19

1997: A line of severe thunderstorms producing wind gusts to 70 mph downed trees and power lines from Allegan County through Jackson County. Around 10,000 customers lost power. A boy in Hastings was injured by a lightning strike.

September 20

1957: Thunderstorms with heavy rain of up to 2 inches flooded streets and viaducts in Grand Rapids.

1968: A tornado hits a rural area about five miles south of Lansing at 2:15 in the morning, damaging two barns and a shed.

September 21

1863: Lansing records a low temperature of 19 degrees, the coldest on record for the month of September.

1956: Intense lightning from thunderstorms is responsible for 11 house fires in Ottawa and Kent Counties, accounting for thousands of dollars in damage.

1967: A small tornado struck just north of Lansing at 10:45 in the morning and destroyed a garage.

1992: A tornado hit north of Webberville in Ingham County, damaging several outbuildings.

September 22

1952: Hail covered the ground like snow in Cascade Township, near Grand Rapids.

1961: A tornado hit two miles north of Marne. One person was injured and three buildings were heavily damaged.

September 23

2006: Small tornadoes hit Caledonia in Kent County and Muir in Montcalm County. The Caledonia tornado did some roof damage to a storage facility and a barn. The Muir tornado caused no structural damage but took down some tree limbs.

September 24

1950: Smoke from Canadian forest fires gave the sun an eerie bluish cast and darkened the sky across western Michigan.

September 25

1961: Widespread, heavy rain causes some flooding across western Michigan. Record daily rainfall totals occur at Muskegon, Lansing and Grand Rapids. The 3.52 inches of rain at Grand Rapids is a record total for any day in September.

Weather History for SE Michigan

September 19

On September 19, 2011, Detroit recorded 1.81 inches of rainfall which is a record for the date. This helped push Detroit to its 4th wettest September on record with 6.28 inches of rain. Interestingly, the September rain did not extend farther north. Flint record 2.09 inches and Saginaw had 1.73 inches which were both well below average and in the top 30 driest Septembers for those two cities.

On September 19, 2002, an upper air disturbance move across Lower Michigan during the late afternoon and evening hours on the 19th. This disturbance combined with unseasonably warm and humid air across Lower Michigan to trigger widespread thunderstorms. These thunderstorms initially moved into the Saginaw Valley during the late afternoon hours. During the evening, another round of thunderstorms moved from south to north across the region. Some of these thunderstorms were severe with damaging wind gusts, including an estimated 100,000 dollars in damage in Algonac and Harsen Island. Three men were installing a roof at an apartment complex under construction in Ann Arbor when they were struck by lightning. Two of the men were injured, while the third was later pronounced dead.

Also on September 19, 1997, severe thunderstorms developed ahead of a strong cold front that moved across southeast Lower Michigan. The severe thunderstorms downed trees and power lines in Chelsea (Washtenaw County), Farmington Hills (Oakland County), Detroit (Wayne County), Clinton (Lenawee County), and Dundee (Monroe County). Lightning struck a farm near Coleman (Midland County) killing 4 horses. Lightning also damaged 2 houses in Waterford (Oakland County) and an apartment building in Westland (Wayne County). About 20,000 people were left without power.

September 20

On September 20, 1978, Genesee county experienced winds of 63 mph with storms passing through.

September 21

On September 21, 2017, after a chilly start to the month, the temperature soared to 93 degrees at Flint. This broke the old record of 90 degrees from 1931.

On September 21, 2010, a cold front swept through Southeast Michigan producing severe thunderstorms north of M-59 during the evening hours. Most reports of severe weather were from the squall line that raced through the Tri-Cities, Flint and Thumb regions. There were 21 reports of severe wind gusts and tree damage.

September 22

On September 22, 2005, 3.62 inches of rainfall fell in Flint from multiple rounds of severe thunderstorms. Flash flooding was reported in both Genesee and Lapeer Counties. The severe thunderstorms produced wind damage mainly along the I 69 and I 94 corridors.

September 23

On September 23, 1974, record lows on the 22nd and 23rd of 30 degrees and 29 degrees, respectively, brought the earliest freeze on record to Detroit.

September 24

On September 24, 1997, southeast Lower Michigan saw its first frost of the year. The temperature fell to 32 degrees at Flint. This missed tying the record by one degree.

September 25

On September 25, 2018, three tornadoes occurred over northern Monroe and southern Wayne Counties, impacting Frenchtown Township – EF1, South Rockwood/Rockwood – EF0, and Gibraltar – EF1. No injuries were reported, but numerous homes were damaged. The Gibraltar tornado even crossed the Detroit River to impact Grosse Ile.

On September 25, 2007, thunderstorms ended a dry eight-day stretch of well above average temperatures in the upper 70s to upper 80s. Some of the storms were severe with the most damage occurring in Flushing. A downburst produced an estimated 80 mph wind gust which blew in garage doors and down hundreds of trees and large limbs.

Also on September 25, 1941, the remnants of a former Category 3 hurricane passed over Detroit. What was remarkable about the remnants of this storm was the high wind speeds and low pressure that accompanied it. Winds speeds remained steady at 56mph with wind gusts of up to 75mph! Dozens of people were injured from these winds. The pressure dropped to 990mb that day, which is the second-lowest pressure reading ever recorded for Detroit during the month of September.

Forecast Discussion

- Heavy Rain potential continues into Thursday

We have maintained the Flood Watch through Thursday morning. At
this point we have not extended it into Thursday, but that change
may be needed. That said, the higher amounts that were in the
models last night (4+ inches) have backed off a bit tonight. Some
of the rain is already fallen though, so that is part of the
equation. Radar estimates show nearly an inch has fallen in
eastern Jackson County with a 3+ swath in southern Oakland County.

What looks most plausible is another 2 inches or so in the watch
area. The HREF max values which normally do a decent job in
depicting in the values in the highest swaths of rain is still
showing 4+ amounts possible, but that is again the max. So,
confidence in seeing impacts from flooding are probably low to
medium, but given we already have the watch out will leave it in

The setup remains good for heavier rain with an upper low lifting
out of the Ohio Valley today and into Southeast Lower Michigan
tonight. The low then slowly spins north to the thumb on Thursday.
Our southeast forecast area (LAN/JXN) will be in a zone of strong
isentropic lift much of the time. BUFKIT overviews at JXN show
strong lift tonight which will be when the heaviest rain will
likely occur from around midnight through daybreak. If flooding is
going to occur it will likely be during this time frame. The band
of heavier rain expected tonight will gradually lift north through
the area moving into Central Lower Michigan Thursday morning. It
will weaken with time. Not expecting flood impacts outside of the
watch area.

Another impact from this system will be the wind. At this point
not going with a Wind Advisory, but we considered it from South
Central Lower Michigan, essentially the same area as the Flood
Watch, so Lansing, Jackson and Battle Creek. We could see some
wind gusts in excess of 45 mph with scattered power outages

Thursday night we are likely looking at lake effect rain showers
with delta t`s in the middle teens. Some waterspouts out on Lake
Michigan are not out of the question given the unstable

- Next chance for rain comes on a cold front Friday night

A cold front moves in Friday night with another round of rain
showers for the area. The rain looks to mostly be of the post
frontal variety and will be confined to Friday night and Saturday
morning across the area. Heavy rain is not anticipated.

- Some timing differences with a front early next week

Another front moves through early next week with the GFS being
slower and stronger which gives the area a better chance of rain.
The ECMWF has a mainly dry frontal passage whereas the GFS has
showers for the area on Tuesday. At this point a bit difficult to
nail things down, but would side with the drier Euro as it has had
a better handle on things as of late.

newest oldest
Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Well for all rain predicted, Monday yield 0.00”, yesterday had 0.17”, and today there were a few drips early this morning for a whopping total of 0.17” over 3 days. Partly sunny now, time to mow the yard. Wish we could have these temps year around.

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

It was out for a few minutes this afternoon. It has got brighter this afternoon.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Cool and rainy here all day.


Happy Fall surre feeels like it outside but who is complaining not INDY …DDDDDD

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

With the low pressure overhead, I would be very surprised if we see 60 today.

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

62 here

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Lucky! 52 here. 🙂

Nathan (forest Hills)
Nathan (forest Hills)

The first half of fall is one of my favorite times of year weather-wise (September 22-Halloween). I like November *if* it snows, but a lot of times November is gloomy and just too warm for snow.
I have seen some indications of an early winter by some other sources… but I doubt accuracy this far out. Happy Autumn everyone!


My favorite time of the year is late spring (late April into May) that is when things become green and the smell of sweet air from the spring flowers after a nice spring rain. But to each their own.

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

I love Fall and all the colors the leaves turn and my second season is Spring when every thing starts growing again. I love to see my garden start blooming.


Welcome to astronomical autumn. While today is the so called “official” start of autumn meteorological autumn started on September 1st. The official high at Grand Rapids yesterday was 73 that is close to the average high of 72. The record high for yesterday is 95 in 2017 and the record low is 32 set in 1962. The overnight low both here at my house and at GRR was 53 and that is also the current temperature. I recorded 0.35″ of rain fall. For today the average H/L is 72/51 the record high is 95 also set in 2017 and the… Read more »

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Fall is here and that means we are closer to the Cold and Snow! Bring it on!

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

Not to soon!