GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After a long and cold second half of winter, West Michigan will finally got warmer temperatures Thursday, but not under sunshine and blue skies.
With a strong southerly wind and abundant clouds, severe thunderstorms rolled through.
The rain, coupled with still-melting snow, led to some nuisance flooding. There was some water over Fulton Street near Cascade Road Thursday afternoon, prompting authorities to put up caution signs, though they didn't shut down the road. Drivers slowed to ford the pond.
The warm temperatures surged into Michigan from the south ahead of a strong developing storm system in the Central Plains that took a path into the western Great Lakes region.
The Storm Prediction Center hasn't changed the slight risk area much, but they have added an enhanced risk south of Michigan.
If you have travel plans taking you into Indiana and Ohio, be aware the severe weather threat is greater down there.
There are several primary ingredients needed for severe weather to occur. The probability of severe weather appeared more likely Wednesday, but now it seems we will be lacking a primary ingredient: instability or lack of heating from sunshine.
It appears after the first round of rain earlier this morning, another round will arrive before noon, inhibiting the heating that helps fuel the storms. The HRRR model that second round of rain moving in by 11 a.m.
There still could be a couple of strong to severe storms, which Storm Team 8 will be monitoring on the radar through the day.
The primary risk still appears to be straight-line wind gusts.
The Storm Prediction Center's estimate for a chance of severe wind gusts within a 25 mile point is 5 to 15 percent, with the likelihood greater to the south.
The threat for a tornado is significantly lower.
Although the threat seems lower today, it still isn't zero. Since this will be the first potental severe thunderstorm scenario of the season, make sure you are prepped and have a way of receiving severe weather information for wherever you are. The Storm Team 8 weather app is always a good start.
Even if you don't experience any severe storms, there will still be some higher wind gusts to contend with. They are expected strong enough that the National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory until 11 p.m. tonight.
Some of the wind gusts will exceed 45mph.
Notice how the winds are from the south. Today will not only be the warmest day of 2019, but only the third day this month with warmer than average temperatures.
The 60-degree temperatures will only pay a short visit, though. We have grown accustomed to sharp temperature swings in spring and we will experience that Friday, with readings through the day only in the 30s and wind chills in the 20s.
Temperatures will be cold enough for snow to develop during the day. Light accumulations of less than an inch will be possible Friday night.
After the brief taste of warmer temperatures, many may be wondering when they will return. We'll have to be patient. Forecasted highs will slowly climb over the next week, with a possibility of hitting 52 degrees next Thursday.
The 8-14 day outlook looks more promising.
Hopefully that "much above" area will bring us the first 70-degree days of the season without the chance of severe weather.
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