The feature image is from Mark (East Lansing) – there was the question of this possibly being a cold air funnel. I am thinking it is an area of heavy rain in the center of the image – I am not seeing any rotation, cool photo though, thanks for sending.
Here is a historical (hysterical) weather event of note:
July 27, 1901…A rain of fish from the sky was reported at Tiller’s Ferry, SC. Hundreds of fish were swimming between cotton rows after a heavy shower.
Although rare, there are numerous instances of fish falling down from the skies. Of course, the fish do not really “rain” in the sense of condensing out of water vapor. The fish that fall from the sky are just fish that used to be in the sea or lake. So what puts the fish up in the sky in the first place? Although few detailed scientific observations have been performed on this phenomenon, the common consensus is that tornadoes are the culprit.
When tornadoes traverse over bodies of water, they become known as waterspouts. Waterspouts suck up lake or ocean water along with the fish or other creatures swimming in the water. The fish are sucked up the tornado’s vortex and then blown around in the clouds until the windspeed decreases enough to let them fall back to the ground, perhaps miles away from where they started.
According to Bill Evans’ meteorology book titled It’s Raining Fish and Spiders, creatures fall from the sky about forty times a year. All sorts of creatures have been reported raining down, including snakes, worms, and crabs, but fish and frogs are the most common.
Even squid and alligators have been reported to fall from the sky. Often, the process of being swept high into the clouds encases these creatures in a layer of ice or hail that may still remain after they have plummeted back to earth. Raining creatures encased in blocks of ice can be very dangerous and have been known to smash through car windshields. If you see any wildlife falling from the sky, seek shelter indoors immediately.
Very small chances of creatures falling from the sky today though we are heading into a more active weather pattern. Best rain and storm action today will be north of Grand Rapids, smaller chances south.
The next storm system will arrive this afternoon. This storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall to the region. Generally 0.50” to 2.00” of rain is expected to fall with the highest amounts over eastern Upper Michigan and near the Straits. Given all the recent rain, there could be localized flooding impacts for some areas, so stay tuned for later forecast updates.
Another storm will move into the Great Lakes Friday with another shot of rainfall. This continues the parade of rainfall-producing weather systems that have moved across our area over the past week. Just scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected this weekend.
Below are the storm risks for today and tomorrow – the enhanced risk is to our west. The day three (Friday) outlook has the slight risk area right over Michigan.
HRRR and Futurecast models runs are for 18 hours beginning at 7am – a second model run begins at 3pm
Day and Week Planner
This feature has auto location.
(click images to enlarge)
A lot of weather going on in the short term, but the best chance of svr wx and heavy rainfall appears to be on Friday. Incoming 40-60 kt swly low level jet will send higher pwat/theta-e air into the area today. The result will be numerous to widespread showers moving into the area, arriving along the lakeshore later this morning/toward noon, and probably impacting most areas north of I-94 this afternoon. Rainfall amounts expected to range from only a few hundredths south of I-96 to a quarter to half inch around Ludington.
Little to no instability is progged today as the rain comes in over top of a dry/stable low level air mass with sfc dew points currently in the 40s. So while likely pops are warranted near/north of I-96 today it looks like the thunder risk is quite low. Main threat of thunder is toward evening around Ludington per latest RAP13 MUCape progs.
With all the clouds and showers moving in today, and the rain falling into the drier low levels, suspect high temps will be held down – in the low to mid 70s. There`s a good chance that tonight will be relatively quiet since the models have been consistently showing the 50-60 kt low level jet pointed at northern Lake Huron.
With the sfc low and warm front well to our north tonight, this suggests only scattered showers/tstms at best, with best coverage still in the NW CWFA closer to the apchg sfc cold front. Instability tonight is still shown to be rather limited, with MUCapes under 1000 J/KG.
That said we will have 50-60 kts at H8 and any convection could mix down some gusty winds if the sfc based inversion is shallow enough. The sfc cold front stalls over the srn CWFA on Thursday and could be a focus for strong diurnal sfc based storms Thursday afternoon and evening along I-94. Storms could persist in the srn cwfa on Thursday night as the front lifts back north as a warm front.
Best risk of severe weather and heavy rainfall is Friday as sfc low tracks ne just west of us, and helps pull in sfc dew pts near 70. If we get any sfc heating and develop sfc based convection, it could be a very active day since the warm front will be in the vcnty and deep layer shear is progged to be 30-50 kts with Capes over 2000 J/KG. .
Moderate to potentially strong instability will linger Friday evening so showers and thunderstorms are likely to continue through Friday evening before gradually tapering off as instability diminishes overnight. A drier airmass will move in behind this system for the weekend with near normal temperatures for this time of year.
However a northward moving warm front will bring potential for more showers and thunderstorms Monday night into Tuesday as elevated instability ramps up north of the front. The relatively best chance for pcpn will be over our southern fcst area in closer proximity to the sfc low/warm front. Temperatures for early to mid next week will continue to average close to normal but with increasing humidity. A high pressure ridge will then gradually build in from the north and bring fair wx for midweek.