Review: Storms Dump Heavy Rain In Lower Michigan

A large ridge that has been primarily stationary over western portions of the United States this year, slowly built east through the weekend. Warm and humid conditions that have not often been felt in Lower Michigan this summer, made a pronounced return to the Midwest. As a result, Lower Michigan has been positioned on the northern edge of the ridge, which can lead to frequent storms and heavy rain…and that it did!


Early on August 27th, a large complex of storms developed over Wisconsin. The complex, known as a MCS (Mesoscale Convective System), quickly traveled southeast over Lake Michigan. Some of the strongest storms tracked from Ludington to Big Rapids with common wind gusts between 40-50 miles per hour, knocking down some trees, branches and leaving some residents without power. The system then moved across the state, surviving all the way through the Detroit Metro Area.


The Storm Prediction Center placed most of Lower Michigan under a slight risk for severe weather during the evening hours. Although most locations were spared of severe thunderstorms, the rain was not as reluctant.  Some locations that were hit hard on August 27th were hit again late in the evening. Rainfall totals of 2-3” were typical in areas around Lansing with a few localized higher reports. Lansing actually set a daily rainfall record of 3.39” for August 27th, a record that stood since August 27, 1869. The daily record is also the highest daily rainfall ever recorded in the month of August. The heavy rainfall over Central Lower Michigan led to minor flooding in parking lots, basements and various streets around Lansing.  


A two day total of 2-5” from Monday, August 27th through Wednesday, August 28th, made it clear that areas east of highway 131 made up for or completely erased the month’s rainfall deficit!