A “General Thunderstorm Risk” area was posted for lower Michigan by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) for April 30, 2013. The HRRR was forecasting a band of elevated showers and thunderstorms to begin developing between 6AM and 9AM across west Michigan. It’s safe to say the HRRR forecast not only verified, but also ended up underdone as the storms intensified a bit more than expected. All of the storms remained non-severe to my knowledge, but several of them produced small hail. The main line came through my area, and then began to back build. This back building led to more storms developing, and one of those produced a decent amount of pea sized hail.
Below are two radar screenshots of the stronger cell that produced the hail. On the left is the VIL (Vertically Integrated Liquid) and on the right the Base Reflectivity a couple of steps ahead of the VIL showing the core dropping out of the storm cell, which was resulted in the hail.
I filmed it all from my balcony. Videos and photos are below. The easiest storm intercepts of all are the ones you can sit at home and wait for. The first video is mostly thunder, lightning and rain. That storm also produced some small hail. The second video is of the hailstorm. Below that are images from the event which include turbulent looking clouds after each storm, and also some pictures of the hail. There’s a sunset at the end too, a must see, it was gorgeous. Feel free to share this article with friends!