SE Michigan weather forecast: Continuing to monitor a severe storm threat

Highest threat for severe storms is this evening

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - The band of rain and isolated thunderstorms moving through our area early this afternoon are not the ones we have to monitor for a severe threat. 

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Rather, it’s the scattered storms that may develop later this afternoon that need to be watched. A warm front crossing the area is bringing in some incredibly steamy air, and this air mass is also much more unstable than what we had this morning, so the scattered thunderstorms that develop later could be severe, with damaging wind gusts, lightning and torrential downpours the primary threats. 

However, something that Ben Bailey and I continue to monitor is if any sunshine develops behind this early afternoon band of rain. If we get any meaningful sun between roughly 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., then the atmosphere becomes even more unstable, and this promotes more vigorous updrafts in the developing storms, those stronger updrafts then tap into some reasonable wind shear, which then causes some of the storms to rotate.  

Severe threat this evening

Put simply, moderately strong west-southwesterly winds aloft will overspread the area this afternoon.  However, surface winds will be from the south. That veering of the wind direction as you go from the surface upward is the wind shear, and some models project enough shear this afternoon to generate supercell thunderstorms, which would then bring potential tornadoes into play. But it’ll all depend upon how much sun we get. 

It appears that the severe storm threat is most likely between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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Highs Thursday will be in the low 80s (28 degrees Celsius), and it’ll be a very muggy afternoon.  South wind at 10 to 20 mph.

Thursday’s sunrise is at 6:43 a.m., and Thursday’s sunset is at 8:31 p.m.

A few showers and thunderstorms are still possible during the first half of the night, as I don’t expect the cold front to cross the area until the middle of the night.  However, I do not expect any severe weather tonight…you can sleep easier.  Lows in the upper 60s (20-21 degrees Celsius).

Weekend Forecast

Mostly cloudy on Friday -- our best chance for some sunshine will be mid to late afternoon. Highs near 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius), and it’ll become steadily less humid through the day.

Partly cloudy Friday night, with lows in the low 60s (16 degrees Celsius).

This coming weekend looks to shape up almost exactly like last weekend. Saturday will start partly cloudy, but clouds will increase by mid to late morning, and scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms are possible as an upper level disturbance crosses the Great Lakes. Highs near 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius). The rain better hold off until after the Farmington Farmers Market Saturday morning, because I’ll be there to ring the opening bell and participate in some other activities, including the corn roast…you can get a roasted ear of fresh Michigan corn for only $1 and, best of all, it’s a fundraiser to help some local charities!  See you there.  And it had better not rain on the meteorologist.

Becoming mostly clear Saturday night, with lows in the low 60s (16-17 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny on Sunday…a splendid Pure Michigan summer weekend day, with highs in the mid 80s (29-30 degrees Celsius).

Monday's Eclipse forecast

Mostly sunny skies continue into Monday, which means that we’ll be able to see the partial solar eclipse!  Peak eclipse time for us is 2:30 p.m.  I’ve put lots of stories and information on Detroit’s official eclipse webpage on ClickOnDetroit.com…check it out!  Highs warming into the upper 80s (31 degrees Celsius).  

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