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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Sometimes when snow falls, it isn’t ‘how much,’ but rather, ‘when,’ ‘where,’ and ‘how’ that dictate how it will affect West Michigan drivers.

Intermittent squalls of lake-effect snow created headaches for many on Tuesday morning’s commute.  Despite that, the amount of snow itself was not excessive.

Reports from the Muskegon area indicated a little over an inch of snow through around 8:00 A.M.  Most of the Grand Rapids area generally saw only a light coating.

To the southwest, the more traditional lake-effect snowbelt areas did pick up a bit more.  Much of Allegan County had estimated totals of around an inch, with a few isolated higher amounts.  Van Buren, Berrien, and Cass counties, where the snow started initially last night, did receive two inches or more in spots.  A Facebook user in South Haven reported around four inches of total snow on the ground.

Snow was already starting to lighten up by 9:00 A.M., and is expected to continue to diminish during the day Tuesday.  The afternoon commute will likely be a much easier one.  Only a few flurries are possible later tonight, with sun and milder temperatures returning for the rest of the work and school week.

You can check out the radar and the rest of the 7-day forecast on the weather page.

Photo courtesy: Marissa Reynolds-Johnson, Muskegon


Drivers Misjudge Light Snow, See Lots Of Crashes

The morning commute started badly Tuesday as snow showers moved in off Lake Michigan.

I-196 along the Lakeshore in Allegan County saw the first problems. A vehicle rolled over around 6:30 a.m. on southbound I-196 south of Douglas near Exit 36. Shortly after, calls went out on a vehicle that had gone into the trees on northbound I-196 a mile south of Exit 42. That crash caused no injuries.

Around 20 minutes later, crashes began to occur on US-131 in Allegan County. One deputy driving in northern Allegan County reported he couldn’t see at times. The 131 mayhem began with a multiple vehicle crash south of Exit 68 on southbound US-131. A few minutes later, a crash was reported on northbound US-131 a mile north of the Wayland Exit 64.

Emergency personnel were then kept busy in Kent County as the snow bands swung north. A vehicle crashed on the ramp from northbound US-131 to eastbound M-6. That accident tied up traffic for some time, starting around 7:30 a.m. More crashes took place on northbound US-131 south of 54th Street and around 36th Street.

From 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., several slowdowns popped up just due to heavy traffic combined with the light coat of snow. I-96 was stop-and-go for a while eastbound from Plainfield Avenue to about Fulton Street. US-131 had several backups, most notably northbound at M-6 from the scene of a crash. Southbound US-131 was slow as usual from north of West River Drive to Ann Street, which, of course, affected the ramp from eastbound I-96 to southbound US-131.

The snow slowed traffic in Muskegon County, with speeds under 50 mph on I-96 and US-31.