WEST MICHIGAN -- I know most of us have had enough of this snow and cold. Many of the folks I've spoken with are ready to ease into spring. Technically, spring doesn't arrive until March 20 at 5:58 P.M....the precise time when the sun is overhead of the equator. The days will really start to get longer faster as the sun angle increases along with its strength. Meteorologically, spring covers March/April/May. And while spring began meteorologically March first, it certainly will not feel like it this week.
Another piece or lobe of the polar vortex will impact the Great Lakes this week as temperatures struggle to get into the teens. We will be flirting with near record cold temperatures for this time of year, and this cold will likely start up the lake effect snow making machine. The coldest high temperature in March for Grand Rapids is 10 degrees, set twice in the past (3/2/1925 and 3/17/1941). We're forecasting only 12 on Monday.
Wind will also be an issue this week, especially on Monday and Tuesday. Generally westerly at 10 to 20 mph, that will drive wind chills to around -5 to -15 both days! Take a look at expected wind chills below. The first image is valid for Monday morning at 6 A.M.. The second one is valid for Tuesday morning at 6 A.M.. Certainly cold for the kids going to school!
If that wasn't enough, accumulating lake effect snow is likely through Wednesday morning as the colder air pours over Lake Michigan. While our air mass looks somewhat dry and we know air that cold holds less moisture, the possibility of up to six inches or so of snow exists for areas along/west of U.S. 131 through Wednesday morning. Keep in mind that with temperatures below 18/20 degrees, salt is not very effective, so commutes will be impacted as well. Image below is valid for 3 A.M. Tuesday morning as lake effect snow pours off Lake Michigan.
There are indications that later this week we will warm to around 40 and rain/snow will be possible. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather. Have a pleasant week!