Strong to Severe Thunderstorms Possible this Evening
Depending on the exact placement of a warm front and how much sunshine🌞we see today, highs will warm into the 60s to around 70 south. The more sun, the more unstable the atmosphere will become by evening. Isolated to scattered storms are likely to develop and move generally from northwest to southeast across central and southern lower MI between 6pm and midnight this evening. The highest severe potential is along and south of Interstate-96, where the highest instability and moisture will likely develop. Large hail is the primary concern given steep lapse rates, with damaging winds also possible. Even a brief/isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. Cloud to ground lightning and heavy rain will likely accompany any storm as well. Below is the Storm Prediction Center Severe Weather Outlook for today along with potential lightning flash density between 6pm and midnight.
Additional Specific Details:
When considering potential severe weather, we need 4 main ingredients:
Moisture, Lift, Shear, and Instability.
Moisture will be advecting in from the southwest this afternoon, with dew points climbing well into the 50s and possibly low-60s south, making it feel humid. The higher the dew points become, the higher the severe potential.
Lift comes from a warm front that will initially be moving north through mid-MI this afternoon, followed by a cold front that will move through closer to midnight tonight.
Wind Shear is certainly present. This is wind changing speed and direction with height. Any storms that develop will be in a favorable environment to become organized and possibly become severe.
Instability will build throughout the day, but depends on cloud cover. Too much cloud cover can limit instability and as a result keep the severe threat low even with the other 3 ingredients in place.
Wind Shear and lift are given factors today, but we also need instability and moisture to develop late afternoon. The more sun we see today, the higher the instability can become, along with warmer and more humid conditions as well. Given the environment, all severe modes are possible, with large hail the highest concern.
I will be monitoring this potential throughout the day. Stay tuned to my social media pages for updates and plan for text alerts should storms become more imminent this evening. If you have not joined my text alert service, contact me to join today!