GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hail reports from pea size to tennis ball size were reported across West Michigan Tuesday evening after a long track severe thunderstorm cut across several counties. 

The storm rolled in off of Lake Michigan after producing large hail in the Chicagoland area. This storm was one of the only to survive the journey across the cold lake, feeding on energy in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Eventually, the storm made landfall just before 6 p.m. in northern Van Buren and southern Allegan County after skirting along the lake shore for half an hour. The storm quickly became severe as hail at least an inch in size began to fall in Allegan.

April 4 storm tracking into Allegan County

Storms early in the spring season are typically good hail-makers. Spring storms can more easily tap into cold air aloft than summer storms.  Severe weather parameters Tuesday were especially ideal for hail formation.

Hail as large as golf balls fell as the storm continued through Allegan. From there, the storm tracked across US-131 into Barry County, where tennis ball size hail was produced. The storm briefly veered into Ionia County where hail as large as tennis ball size fell on Lake Odessa. Eventually, the storm dissipated as it tracked east toward Lansing.

  • Hail in the Wayland area on April 4, 2023. (Courtesy John Weesie)
  • Hail in the Wayland area on April 4, 2023. (Courtesy John Weesie)
  • Hail in the Wayland area on April 4, 2023. (Courtesy John Weesie)

Michigan was in a slight risk for strong to severe storms on Tuesday with hail being the primary threat. Strong to severe storms are also forecast again on Wednesday with large hail, strong winds and even an isolated tornado possible.

Storm risk for April 5, 2023

Stay with Storm Team 8 for the latest details.