Yesterday we reached 53° for a high temperature which was a reasonably warmish early spring day. Snow showers will redevelop this evening and continue through Saturday. High temperatures on Saturday will stay in the 20s, and winds will make it feel colder, as the variable lake-effect snow accumulates in many locations. Roads may become snowy or icy.
Winter Weather Advisory
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 2 AM EDT SUNDAY... * WHAT...Lake effect snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph. * WHERE...Portions of central, south central, southwest and west central Michigan. * WHEN...From 8 PM this evening to 2 AM EDT Sunday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.
U.S.A and Global Events for March 17th:
1892: A winter storm in southwestern and central Tennessee produced 26.3 inches of snow at Riddleton and 18.5 inches at Memphis. It was the deepest snow on record for those areas.
1906: The temperature at Snake River Wyoming dipped to 50 degrees below zero, a record for the U.S. for March.
1906: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused significant damage in Taiwan. According to the Central Weather Bureau in China, this earthquake caused 1,258 deaths, and 2,385 injuries, and destroyed over 6,000 homes. Click HERE for more information from the History.com
1952: The ban on using the word “tornado” issued in 1886 ended on this date. In the 1880s, John P. Finley of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, then handling weather forecasting for the U.S., developed generalized forecasts on days tornadoes were most likely. But in 1886, the Army ended Finley’s program and banned the word “tornado” from forecasts because the harm done by a tornado prediction would eventually be greater than that which results from the tornado itself. The thinking was that people would be trampled in the panic if they heard a tornado was possible. The ban stayed in place after the Weather Bureau; now, the National Weather Service took over forecasting from the Army. A tornado that wrecked 52 large aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base, OK, on 3/20/1948, spurred Air Force meteorologists to begin working on ways to forecast tornadoes. The Weather Bureau also began looking for ways to improve tornado forecasting and established the Severe Local Storm Warning Center, which is now the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK. The ban on the word “tornado” fell on this date when the new center issued its first Tornado Watch.
1990: Showers and thunderstorms associated with a slow-moving cold front produced torrential rains across parts of the southeastern U.S. over two days. Flooding claimed the lives of at least 22 persons, including thirteen in Alabama. Up to 16 inches of rain deluged southern Alabama with 10.63 inches reported at Mobile AL in 24 hours. The town of Elba, AL, was flooded with 6 to 12 feet of water causing more than 25 million dollars in damage, and total flood damage across Alabama exceeded 100 million dollars. Twenty-six counties in the state were declared disaster areas.
Grand Rapids Forecast3 17 grr
Lansing Forecast3 17 lan
Kalamazoo Forecast3 17 kzo
- Windy With Much Colder Temperatures and Snow Showers The surface cold front will sweep through the CWA this morning with temperatures falling from the mid/upper 40s very early to around 32F by 18z, then below freezing by 00z and into the teens late tonight. The 850mb temperatures off the 00z ECMWF get down to -18C Saturday morning, which is highly anomalous for mid March. Highs on Saturday will not be in record territory, but should still rank as one of the coldest March 18ths on record with highs struggling into the mid 20s. In terms of the setup for lake effect snow, many favorable conditions are in place both synoptically and on the mesoscale. We have the upper low to the north pivoting some upper forcing over the lake (best vort lobe moves through between 12z-18z Saturday), high delta Ts over the water, abundant RH from the surface to 700mb, and periods of higher omegas within the DGZ. I would anticipate some lake effect bands starting to generate late tonight, probably within the 00z-06z window, as a W flow setup is in place. This flow shifts to WNW in the 12z-18z window and then NW after that. There could be some pretty healthy, wind-driven bands at times especially around and after 12z Saturday. One mitigating factor with this event is that the bands won`t stay in place for an extended period of time, limiting the severity of the event. Still, some locations will get impacted by all three of these directional setups and with 30-40 mph gusts, these bands will be driven well inland and also will have the potential to create some abrupt visibility reductions, possibly on the verge of white outs in the most intense bands. Normally mid- March sun angle and temperatures mitigate impacts on roads, and that may be the case where the snow is not as intense, but given the anomalous setup on Saturday we believe there will be impacts to contend with. As anticipated, with this event now moving into the time window for high resolution model guidance, we`re seeing potential for a bit more QPF in certain places than the 0.10"-0.20" that has been advertised. Models like the HRRR, ARW, and NSSL have pockets of 0.25"-0.50", which is certainly more concerning, and a lot of these higher totals are displaced away from the immediate coast given the wind speeds. Currently we are going to use the 0.10"-0.25" QPF as a basis for snow accums, with the caveat that some places may get over 0.25" liquid equivalent. As has been the case with many lake effect events this winter, the highest accumulations will likely be across the eastern halves of the lakeshore counties right into the U.S. 131 row. SLRs greater than 10:1 are expected given the drier nature of the snow and potential fluff factor, so more like 15:1-20:1 is anticipated. This also indicates reductions in visibility will be easier to achieve. Using the 0.10"-0.25" with SLRs in the 15:1-20:1 range gives about 2"-4" with some 5" amounts possible. East of U.S. 131 the amounts will gradually tail off except for Barry and Calhoun Counties where higher amounts from the NW flow may occur. A Winter Weather Advisory will be issued to highlight the travel impacts during this event and is stretched further east to account for bands being blown inland. - Quieter Weather Sunday Through Tuesday, Then More Precipitation Aside from perhaps some sprinkles or scattered light showers on Tuesday, the first three days of next week look quiet and a fair amount of sun is expected especially Sunday and Monday. Warming temperatures will also be featured with 40s returning by Monday and continuing into mid to late week with some 50s also possible. However, more active weather is likely late in the week as the Great Lakes will be located on the battle ground between the upper ridge across the eastern CONUS and longwave troughing out west. This places our region in a favored area for one or more precipitation events. At this point, liquid is favored though mixed precipitation or wet snow are still possible. Several ensemble members from the ECE/GEFS/CMC suggest over 1" of liquid equivalent precipitation is possible especially next week Thursday into Friday.