Level 3 tornado, large hail, damaging wind risk extended to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Jackson and southwestern Michigan

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A higher severe weather risk category has expanded to the southern third of Lower Michigan. Here’s a look at when, where and what types of severe weather are possible late today.

Tonight and tonight there appear to be two eruptions of severe thunderstorms. So the first thing to know is that the storm isn’t something that will hit Lower Michigan until we arrive at 6:00 PM tonight.

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radar forecast

Radar forecast from today June 20 4pm to Monday June 21 6am.

The radar forecast above gives you a good idea of ​​the timing, location and strength of the storms. I’ll start the animation this afternoon at 4 pm. Keep in mind that severe thunderstorms don’t show up until 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM. The first thunderstorms are expected to be isolated thunderstorms. These isolated thunderstorms are the type that can trigger a tornado or two. This type of thunderstorm is also known to produce large hail.

The Storm Prediction Center, the severe weather forecasting agency of the National Weather Service, has placed the southern third of Lower Michigan at “increased risk” from severe storms. Increased risk is the third level of risk in a five-level system.

risk area


This first set of thunderstorms could hit Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo around 5 or 6 p.m. and then move over the Lansing and Jackson areas between 6 and 8 p.m. Finally, the isolated severe storms could move through the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas after 8 p.m.

The second thunderstorm is said to be along a cold front that will sweep across Lower Michigan for a few hours either side of midnight. The cold front would have more of a line of thunderstorms, capable of producing fast gusts, with some gusts exceeding 60 mph.

A cold front moving through it in the middle of the night usually weakens some as it loses the heating of the day. This could be the case tonight, but the highest-level wind power could negate that typical nighttime weakening.

Here are the Storm Prediction Center’s predictions for tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail.

tornado forecast

Chance of an isolated tornado for Sunday, June 20, 2021 (source: Storm Prediction Center)

The highest probability of an isolated tornado is from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo east to Ann Arbor and Detroit.

The image below shows the chance of heavy wind gusts in the thunderstorms.

wind forecast

Chance of damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph for Sunday, June 20, 2021.

Finally, below is the probability of large hail over an inch in diameter.

big hail

Large hail forecast for Sunday, June 20, 2021. Black shaded area is the area with a 10 percent chance of hail 2 inches in diameter. (source: Storm Prediction Center)

Enjoy most of Father’s Day without any storminess. Be aware that fairly widespread severe thunderstorms could roll over the southern third of Lower Michigan this evening and tonight.

I’ll keep you posted on MLive.com.

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