GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Severe weather can happen any time of the year in West Michigan but it clearly hits it’s statistical peak in Spring.

This happens due to the polar jet stream responding to the increased sunlight at high latitudes as the seasons turn to spring. The polar jet stream is responsible for bringing a lot of storm systems through the nation. As this steering belt relaxes south into the United States, it allows for more systems to track across the nation.

Generally speaking, the polar jet stream sequesters cold air on it’s northern side. It keeps warm air on the south side of its belt. As the jet stream moves through during the spring, it cashes in on dragging still-cold air down from northern latitudes into newly mild areas across the United States. The collision of warm and cold air is ideal for severe storms to spark.

In Michigan, most tornadoes occur in spring and summer but violent tornadoes occurred most likely in early spring.

This spring may be more active than usual nationally and into the Great Lakes. The usual active storm track of the polar jet stream will combine with propensity to bring colder-than-usual air down into warmer-than-average air over the Great Lakes the first week of April.

This will likely create several rounds of strong to severe storms through the start of April.