Significant Flooding – FLOOD WATCH

April 17th, 2013 at 2:53 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

Flood of 1986 Rogue River Rockford  qpf Thurs. AM – Gallery of storm, flooding and hail pictures.   Weds. PM a backlash east wind after t-storm passage produced gusts to 48 mph in East G.R. and 47 mph at the Ford Airport.  Grand Rapids has now had measurable rain 12 days in a row and during that time over 6″ of rain has fallen.   Rainfall Weds.  1.23″ of rain at Daybreak Church in Georgetown Twp., 1.11″ Holland, 1.06″ Allendale, 0.99″ downtown G.R.  0.90″ Jenison, 0/81″ Grand Haven Up to 1″ of rain in Walker, St. Johns, Hudsonville, 0.67″ Muskegon, 0.83″ officially in G.R. at the Ford Airport, 0.34″ Battle Creek, 0.33″ Kalamazoo with moderate rain.   Strongest storms in St. Joseph Co. and along I-69.  Pea-sized hail reports today in Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Grandville, Cascade, Jenison, Cutlerville,  Dunningville, Hopkins, Paw Paw, Sunfield, Allegan, East G.R.  and Plainwell, where dime-size hail was reported.  Wed. PM update:  Dew points are in the mid-upper 60s from S. Missouri into S. Indiana.  Lots of moisture for heavy rain and storms.  Gusts to 30 mph in W. Michigan early afternoon…cool east wind.  The Grand Rapids National Weather says:  “THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR MULTIPLE RIVER GAGING SITES TO  REACH MAJOR FLOOD STATUS.”

FLOOD WATCH for the entire area from this evening to at least Friday AM.   There is the potential for severe and dangerous flooding in Lower Michigan later this week.  This from the Milwaukee National Weather Service:  “Some of the contingency forecasts suggest that a few sites could approach or EXCEED the Flood of Record.” Image on the right is the 7-day rainfall forecast from WPC.   The 12Z Weds. AM NAM (caribou) model forecasts 2.42″ of rain for Grand Rapids from Weds. even. thru Friday.  Other forecast totals from that model run:  2.92″ Muskegon, 2.09″ Mt. Pleasant, 3.29″ Big Rapids, 1.84″ Holland, 1.83″ S. Haven, 2.56″ Ludington, 2.62″ Cadillac, 1.61″ Lansing, 2.13″ Kalamazoo, 1.13″ Jackson, 0.88″ Pontiac.    The 12z Weds. AM GFS (caribou) model run has these forecast rainfall totals:  3.47″ Ludington, 3.14″ Muskegon, 2.47″ Cadillac, 3.63″ Big Rapids, 2.53″ Grand Rapids, 2.34″ Mt. Pleasant, 2.37″ Kalamazoo, 1.42″ Lansing, 1.97″ Jackson, 1.63″ Pontiac.      The heaviest rain is Thurs. and Thurs. night.   Hopefully, this is overdone, but there will be a band that should get very heavy rainfall.  The ground is saturated and rivers are already high.  The Grand River has crested in Kent Co., but remains above flood stage in Comstock Park, still about 2 ft. over flood stage.  GRR had 1.01″ of rain Monday/Mondaynight.  Here’s NWS current Flood Warnings.  Check area river levels here and here.   If we were to get rainfall anywhere near these forecast amounts, we would see very significant flooding.  While I’m not saying this will happen, it’s not out of the realm of possibility at this point.  You’ve got some time to think about how this might affect you.  The dams in our area are not meant to hold flood waters.  In the flood of 1986, the volume of water coming down the Muskegon River increased by 18 times in 24-hours in Newaygo Co.  Even if the ponds were empty to start, they don’t have the capacity to hold but a small fraction of that kind of flow.   I’m not saying we’ll see anything like that, but this is something to think about.  We’ve had several incidents in recent years of roads washing out and cars (at night) driving into raging, swollen creeks/rivers.   We’d have basements flooding and roads that might be impassible.   Please keep watching us on TV.  I’ll try to update the blog and our internet forecast as often as I can.   Here’s some simple flood safety rules.  Here’s NOAA’s Flood Safety Page.    Watch this video that shows how fast a road can wash out.   We’ve had washouts in Allegan Co. in 2010,  in Dorr in March 2012 and in Van Buren Co. in 2008.  (picture of Rogue River flooding in 1986 from USGS/NWS – click on the picture to enlarge…a few more Rogue River pics. from 1986 here.)      ALSO:  Here’s recent rainfall in Michigan (7 days)…note there has been a little more in Ottawa – Kent to Saginaw and a little less down toward Battle Creek and Coldwater, where rivers aren’t quite as high.          ALSO:  More heavy snow for the western U.P.

240 Responses to “Significant Flooding – FLOOD WATCH”

  1. WickedTwister says:

    Wow the wind has picked up here in Caledonia :o

  2. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    We officially have a lake in our yard. The heavy rain seemed to train right over out area all afternoon and evening. It’s going to be really deep by tomorrow. I’ll post the pics tomorrow.

  3. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Clouds are hanging low, kind of eery outside

    1. fixxxer says:

      Gloom & doom. Guess we better get used to it.

  4. Uncle Sparkee says:

    R u kidding me, wowed by the French blades of love. Why is rain makin your ol aunty Edna crazy! Spring rains only enhances the mating season for mi pure breds.

    1. fixxxer says:

      You need to lay off the sprites.

    2. Yup (Grandville) says:

      Eh…… Nevermind.

  5. Bald Eagle (Montague) says:

    3/4 of an inch so far today. Been dry for a few hours now.

  6. Travis (Lake Odessa) says:


    1. Travis (Lake Odessa) says:


  7. Travis (Lake Odessa) says:

    Low clouds are heading west…high clouds are moving east. No funnel cloud…but the clouds are moving in every direction. I have never been in a tornado…and I have never seen one develop…but this is seriously freaky! If I had to guess…winds are gusting about 45 – 50 mph!

    1. Cort S. says:

      This is due to vertical shear in the atmosphere, as a consequence of us being north of the warm front.
      (South is on the left side of the picture, and north is on the right. You are facing west in this picture.)

      At and near the ground, we are in a wedge of cold air, and the wind within that cold air is traveling east to west. Above the cold wedge is warm air coming from the southwest. The rain and thunderstorms today are rooted in that unstable warm air being lifted up over that wedge of cold air.

      Directional shear like what we have today is an important ingredient for rotating storms and tornadoes. However, because the storms are rooted in the warm air aloft, they do not care about the air underneath them. (That’s why they can cross Lake Michigan like it isn’t even there.) If we have storms which are based on warm, unstable air at the ground (a possibility for tomorrow afternoon/evening), then we can worry about strong winds and tornadoes reaching the ground. But tomorrow I do not see the directional shear being as pronounced as it is today (winds should be out of the southwest at basically all levels of the atmosphere). So the tornado threat is somewhat low but not zero, but the threat of strong straight-line winds is pretty high.

      1. Travis (Lake Odessa) says:

        Thanks :)

        1. Imthemom (just n holland) says:

          That’s what I was seeing earlier. Thanks for the explanation Cort.

      2. GunLakeDeb says:

        Cort, your link didn’t open; however your explanation was perfectly descriptive!

  8. Travis (Lake Odessa) says:


    1. fixxxer says:

      Not here.

  9. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Rain finally let up here. Just checked the rain gauge, and we have received 1.38″ so far today. Putting us up to 2.2″ since Monday, and 6-7″ since last week.

    1. Slimjim says:

      A lot of rain to our west so I would expect more later.

      1. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t get another 3″ by Friday afternoon. Places could be pushing 10″ in a 2 week stretch!

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      LOL!! Once again, you’re in the Sweet Spot for precip – I just checked my rain gauge and it’s at just a hair under an inch.

      1. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

        I don’t want all this precip though! I’ll gladly share this.

  10. fred says:

    We’re bailing water out of our basements…..

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      Oh man :-( Tomorrow is not going to be good to folks living in low spots….

  11. Mike says:

    Take a look at the projection for downtown Grand River level, 22.4 feet!!

  12. Ben (Charlotte MI) says:

    I have a bad feeling about the next 2-3 days. I think we are going to see some nasty flooding.

  13. Anna says:

    Little worried. I live right above the muskegon river they have closed felch road due to flooding. My main concern is the dirt roads. They are really getting washed out. We have had issues before with ferris ave washing away with heavy rains. I wish the county would fix the road so it went wash away with every rain fall. All they do is pour more dirt on it for it to just wash away. We have received 1.38 of rain today so far. Boy it looks like we could really have some issues up here

  14. Nathan says:

    Wow check out all of that moisture heading our way!!!!!

  15. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Channel 17′s rain forecast map gives my area 5.9″(today’s rain included) of rain by Friday night. I hope we don’t get anywhere near that!

  16. bnoppe(Albion) says:

    I’m excited to see the new SPC outlook, However, I have a feeling the MOD risk will be south of the state at the next update (I have no actual model data knowledge) however I will be pleasantly surprised if it has moved north :)

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