The feature image is from the Bittersweet webcam – lots of people braving the cold air waiting for the lift to go back up the hill.
Winter Storm Warning: Mason, Oceana and Muskegon counties – Total snow accumulations of 6 to 9 inches, with localized amounts up to 11 inches, are expected. Snowfall rates in the heaviest bands are forecasted to exceed an inch per hour.
Winter Weather Advisory: Lake, Newaygo and Ottawa counties. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts up to 8 inches, are expected.
Lake effect snow showers will become heavy at times this afternoon into the Friday morning commute. Local snowfall amounts of over 8 inches is possible near US-31 north of Muskegon causing travel impacts. Inland of that less snowfall is expected during that time.
Lake effect snow showers will persist through much of the period. An increased risk for impacts exist Friday night into Saturday near the lake shore. Going through next week…areas near Lake Michigan may see on and off impacts through the period due to continued snow shower activity. Later Tuesday night and into Wednesday the snow showers may stretch further inland as a low pressure system tracks through.
I saw half a dozen people fishing on the Pine River reservoir on the south side of Jefferson Road. There is a dam there where it flows into the Kalamazoo river. A bit to cold for me to brave the ice. I am sure this Arctic air has been great for ice formation, but still check the ice thickness before you go out. Ice is forming on Lake Michigan photos above – don’t go out there! Below is the graphic of the ice coverage and water temperatures. Ice coverage for the Great Lakes is at 9.4%.
Here is the graphic for expected snow fall today through early Friday P.M.
An area of low pressure will track through the region today and tonight. This system will result in locally heavy snowfall…especially near the lakeshore impacting travel. Another low pressure system arrives for Friday night into Saturday. As a result additional snowfall is forecast. The arctic airmass is forecasted to continue through the end of the week.
The current set of headlines is supported by the most recent model runs so no changes at this time. Considerable variability in how much snow we see exists…but most models support at least 8 inches for parts of the warning area through Friday morning. Given the stronger low level convergence which leads to increased lift later this afternoon and into the evening…snowfall rates in the better banding should top an inch per hour. If rates go up over 2 inches per hour or the band stalls out…amounts could easily top 10 inches.
Will need to monitor Ottawa county for a possible upgrade. Also if a burst of snow arrives around Grand Rapids daybreak Friday…the morning commute could be impacted. The next system will be upon us for Friday night into Saturday morning. We may need to extend or issue new headlines for southwest parts of the region for possible advisory impacts. Cold wind chills to start the morning today…most locations 10 to 15 degrees below zero.
A more widespread snow seems to be in the offering late Tuesday night into Wednesday as a clipper system moves in. This will perk up the lake effect, as well as bring snow farther inland. Another Arctic piercing dagger follows this system for late next week stabbing the Great Lakes region with air originating from the frozen tundra of Northern Alaska and Canada once again. Thu and Fri of the new year should be just as cold as this upcoming weekend, with subzero overnight lows again possible.
Today: Snow showers likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 13. Wind chill values as low as -11. South wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Tonight: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -3. South wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Friday: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 19. West wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.
Friday Night: Snow showers. Low around 11. West northwest wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around 3 inches.
Saturday: Snow showers likely, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 15. Northwest wind 8 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4.
Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 12.
Sunday Night: A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5.
New Year’s Day: A chance of snow showers, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 13.
Monday Night: A chance of snow showers, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6.
Tuesday: A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 15.
Tuesday Night: A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 8.
Wednesday: A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 17.
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