Our third snowfall this season arrives in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For only the third time this season accumulating snow hit the area on Sunday. That’s right…it’s early December and we’re only talking about three (very minor) snowfalls, especially from Grand Rapids to the north.

The first occurred on October 26 when several of our northern cities (north of Grand Rapids) picked up about one to three inches. On the day of the Grand Rapids Christmas parade, November 19, many locations picked up another one to two inches…I remember walking in the parade that morning while it was snowing! And now…December 4, another two to four inches widespread across the area (with some isolated five inch totals) as a trough of low pressure slides through the Great Lakes.

We’ve had several reports of slide-offs, roll-overs, and accidents Sunday afternoon/evening as folks try to re-acclimate themselves with winter driving. We’ve even had a report of two commuters that died in Van Buren county due to a roadway crash. Read more on that here. While these snowfall days have been relatively minor, we should expect sharply colder temperatures leading to accumulating lake-effect snow beginning Wednesday night and continuing through at least Friday THIS WEEK. Take a look at the image below from one of our computer forecast models. The colors on the map represent air masses. We’ve got the “blue” colors over Michigan with temperatures expected in the low 40s. This map is valid on Monday morning.

gfs-monday

The next image below represents the same map on Friday morning this week. Look at how the colder colors/tones have infiltrated much of the Midwest with pink. That’s an Arctic air mass that will certainly get the lake-effect snow making machine cranking by weeks end. Notice also how far south the cold air penetrates…all the way to Florida and the Gulf Coast!

gfs-friday

This will likely be our first “real bout” with winter as the cold air moves in and lake-effect commences. Again, several inches of accumulating lake-effect snow are possible, especially along/west of U.S. 131 where the typical west wind is favored. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather and make sure to stay up this week on later forecasts.

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