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Falling Temps – Rain Changing to Snow

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


* 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 Forecast

3 17 grr

Lansing Forecast

3 17 lan

Kalamazoo Forecast

3 17 kzo

Forecast Discussion

- 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.
newest oldest
Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Breaking Weather Alert>>>>the RDB gives GR 3 to 5 inches of Snow! What a winter! Wow to the wow, WOW!


This blog is for snow loverz today lol… middle of March and winter weather advisorys out who said short winter lol…INDY

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

What? Winter is not dead yet? Who knew? Incredible record breaking winter is rocking!

Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

In regards to the lake effect snow for tomorrow, it would seem to me the heaviest snow accumulations will be displaced away from Lake MI as has been the case essentially all season. Strong west wind events are great for bringing the heaviest snow accumulations to the US-131 corridor. I got to know that growing up in Byron Center it seemed we always performed well in a strong West wind. WNW flow was always good in that area as well. Seems to me that is where the higher end totals of 3-4 maybe 5″ could occur but we shall see… Read more »

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The wind chill is down into the teens already and tomorrow will be near Zero! Incredible March cold!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! Stay safe everyone!!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Look at all of this snow across the country as we head into April! What a winter and let’s keep it rolling!wow, just wow, WoW!


Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

Happy 25th anniversary to the NWS in Northern Indiana! People at the weather offices do a great job with forecasting and keeping people safe!

Nathan (Forest Hills)
Nathan (Forest Hills)

Oh interesting, I didn’t realize that office was so new (relative to others, like GR). Thanks for their service, I’m sure they coordinate closely with our office during big events

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Note the date of the Taiwan earthquake above: March 17, 1906. That’s almost exactly one month prior to the San Francisco earthquake. Both on the Ring of Fire. Coincidence or connected? Enquiring minds want to know. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My maternal grandfather was the first generation to be born in the states. His parents immigrated from the Emerald Isle and were issued one of the first homesteads in the Dakota Territory (pre N & S Dakota). The original 640 acre farm is still owned by our relatives and is located outside of Minot, North Dakota. Have a great St.… Read more »

Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

Interesting info Mark. Minot would be a COLD place to live.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Without question. We had a family reunion there about ten or so years ago. They said all of their vehicles, not just the diesels, have plug-in engine block heaters. Otherwise, there is no way their engines could be started during the coldest parts of winter.

Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

Ohh wow I didn’t know they did that there. I see it is currently 0 there right now.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Is winter dead yet? NO! Have we broken multiple snowfall records this season? YES! Is winter the best season in MI? YES! Will we be seeing more accumulating snow after this weekend? YES! Do the warm weather fanatics declare winter is dead every February and are they always wrong? YES! Will Rock n roll live forever? YES! Will I be skiing again this weekend? YES!

Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

Another winter weather headline. We have had lots of winter alerts this winter. More than I remember in the past several winters. Looks downright cold as we move into later today into tomorrow. Then more early spring type weather looks to move in.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

One of the wildest winters ever!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

I love it! Every time mookie and Andy talk about winter being dead, the next day we are in a WWA! They have been saying this for weeks! How wrong could they be? They have lost all credibility!


Good information and the fact that the ban on the use of the term “tornado” was lifted on this day in 1952.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

That was back when Lucille Ball could not be “pregnant” but rather “with child.” Both too provocative.


Happy St Patrick’s Day! The official H/L yesterday at Grand Rapids was 51/34 there was 0.19” of rain fall and no snow fall. The sun was out 10% of the time. The overnight was very warm for March standards and reached at least 49 before the cold front came thur that 49 will be the high for today. The current temperature here in MBY is now down to 40. For today the average H/L is 45/27 The record high of 78 was set in 2012 and the record low of -4 was set in 1949. Today is the 1st day… Read more »