Storms forecast early Thursday with heavy rainfall; flash flood watch issued

The Detroit News

The sound of thunder and heavy rain could be a wake-up call for west, southwest and southeast Michigan residents early Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather advisory for much of Michigan for Thursday, with rainfall moving from Wisconsin over Lake Michigan and across the state after midnight.

A flash flood watch also is in effect between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. for parts of southeast Michigan, including Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

"Rainfall rates in excess of 1 inch per hour are possible with the thunderstorm activity, which may impact the Thursday morning commute," the weather service said. "Total rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches will be possible."

The rainfall will come from an "organized complex of thunderstorms" entering the region tonight, the weather service said.

"This complex (system) will be moving very quickly from northwest to southeast up to around 50 mph," the agency said. "Damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and heavy rainfall will be possible into Thursday morning."

The weather service said the potential for severe weather should end after 8 a.m. 

In a message to residents ahead of the storms, Dearborn police Chief Ronald Haddad said his department would be monitoring the city for signs of flooding.

"If severe weather is observed or flooding becomes a hazard, the city may sound the Outdoor Emergency Sirens to alert residents of the weather conditions," the notice said. "Please stay vigilant and be proactive to protect your property and vehicles during yet aging another heavy rain fall."

The weather outlook improves after the storms push through.

Temperatures Thursday could reach the low 80s. Friday's forecast calls for highs in the mid-70s under mostly sunny skies.

The weather service predicts a chance of showers and thunderstorms arriving Saturday, when the mercury should hit the 80s.