Drought Easing Rains for Lower Michigan

After seeing hot and dry conditions for a good portion of this summer, the area finally saw widespread beneficial rains on Thursday, August 9th through Friday, August 10th that will help ease the drought conditions that had developed over the area. These beneficial rains came via a strong storm system that dove southeast out of Canada and merge with a system that moved north into the area. This combined system was able to interact with a nice area of moisture that was coming north out of the Gulf of Mexico to produce the widespread rains across the area.

Click here to see a loop of the systems

Some light rain started late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning across the area. Some isolated thunderstorms were embedded in the area of rainfall, but most areas just saw rain. Below is a loop from Wednesday night/Thursday morning.


The rains diminished some in coverage for a period of time on Thursday. Some areas of rain remained into Thursday night.


The heaviest rains for most of the area fell from the pre-dawn hours on Friday through Friday afternoon. Rain was locally heavy at times. The heaviest rain fell northeast of Grand Rapids, especially across Montcalm, Gratiot, and Isabella counties and areas to the northeast from there.


 Below is a radar estimated map of the rain totals from Wednesday night through Saturday morning as of 10 am. The radar seemed to generally under-estimate the amount of rainfall that fell with this event. We have plotted rainfall reports on the map that we have received from spotters, media, and the general public. Click on map to enlarge the map and see the precipitation amounts.

 The heaviest rains in the state fell around the Bay City/Midland/Saginaw (Tri-Cities) area where between 6 and 7 inches of rain fell. Even some locally higher amounts over 7 inches were reported.

Some flooding was reported in the Tri-Cities area due to all of the rain. Some standing water was reported in Gratiot and Montcalm counties where a flood advisory was issued. The standing water has since disappeared. All other locations that did not see the heaviest rain, the rain soaked into the dry ground well.

This will go a long ways in helping to ease the drought situation across the state. Most locations are still below average on their rainfall. Additional widespread rainfall this week on Monday and Thursday Night should help out the situation even more. No long periods of dry and hot weather are expected.

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