While a thunderstorm is possible this weekend in Michigan, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has Michigan only in General Thunderstorm Outlook (light green on the map below). Organized severe weather is not likely.
The Saturday Severe Weather Outlook Map above shows a Marginal (or Low) Risk of a severe storm from E. Colorado to St. Louis. There is another Marginal Risk Area from Maryland down to northern North Carolina. Isolated wind damage is the primary threat.
The above map is the Severe Weather Outlook for Sunday. Lower Michigan south of a line from Muskegon to Oscoda has a chance of a thunderstorm, but organized severe weather is not expected. There are three Marginal Risk areas…one in Montana…one stretching from E. Oklahoma to Evansville IN and the third centered on West Virginia.
The heat and humidity builds back in for Monday-Tuesday with highs in the mid 80s to low 90s. Again, it will likely be cooler near Lake Michigan. In the meantime, highs will likely be in the low 80s for the next few days. We will have a chance of thunderstorms, perhaps a strong storm, late Tuesday or Tuesday night.
We had several drownings at Lake Michigan last Wednesday (7/13 – Wed.). I want to remind everyone that breezy days can lead to dangerous currents on Lake Michigan. When there is a south or southwest wind, an outbound current can form on the south side of the piers (we call them piers, but they are really breakwaters or breakwalls – because they break or stop the water. A pier allows water to flow underneath it).
The wind pushes the water against the pier. The water can’t go through the pier – it can’t go up or down and it can’t go up on the beach, so the only place the water can go is out toward the lake, then around the end of the pier by the pierhead light or lighthouse.
Wednesday PM, we had a north-northwest wind at the lake. That created currents on the north side of the piers and breakwalls. The currents are sometimes pushing you out into deep water faster than you could swim. Many of these drownings occur when waves are running 3-5 feet.
Swimming areas at Holland St. Park, Ferrysburg and the north pier at S. Haven can get these structural currents when there is a north or northwest wind.
To be safe – don’t jump off or swim near the pier on breezy days…or pick an inland lake where they don’t have the breakwalls that stop the flow of the water. When you go to Lake Michigan, check the color of the flag – if it’s yellow, use caution – consider staying in shallow water – if it’s a red flag – stay out of the water.
While many places stayed dry on Wednesday, a few spots had heavy showers. They were generally along or east of US 131. Some rainfall totals: Stambaugh Corners (Osceola Co.) 2.43″, Homer 2.26″, Leroy 2.24″, Evart 1.97″, Wayland 1.64″, Jametown 1.38″, Mt. Pleasant 1.13″ N Dorr. Grand Junction 0.88″.
This is a satellite pic. of the eastern Pacific Ocean on 7/12. Hurricane Darby is down at the bottom of the picture (no threat to land). Top left is a giant low pressure center in the Gulf of Alaska…it’s much bigger than the hurricane. It’s cool in Alaska. The Barrow Airport had a high temp. of just 42 yesterday. Point Thomson got down to a frost 31 degrees. Juneau didn’t get past the mid 50s. Satellite loop of Hurricane Darby.