2012 Weather Out Like A Lamb; 2013 In Like A Lamb

Posted at 10:02 AM, Dec 31, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-31 10:25:16-05

WEST MICHIGAN – Although many of us may be wishing for some substantial snow (especially the kids home on school break), it’s nice to see quiet, uneventful conditions around the New Year for those who may be travelling.

There is no “out like a lamb in like a lion” cliche this time.

With colder air setting up to start the beginning of 2013 (highs only in the 20s for part of this week), we may see some lake-effect snow develop behind a weak wave of low pressure sweeping across the state late Wednesday into Thursday. West to northwest winds on Thursday with colder air may generate some accumulating lake-effect snows through but big totals seem unlikely. Make sure to check here or watch for a later forecast, as things can always change.

There is a rather large system impacting much of the nation’s mid-section from the Four Corners region through Indiana, but Michigan will be far enough north to not see precipitation from this area of low pressure.

  • Click here to see the watches/warnings/advisories associated with the low.
  • Click here to see a national high-resolution radar image.

People as far south as the Texas panhandle may pick up some freezing rain or an inch or two of snow, but this system will only produce a swath of 2 to 4 inches, perhaps 3 to 6 inches in some Midwest locations.

So here are the numbers thus far this season for snowfall in Grand Rapids. We’ve tabulated 7.5 inches, and the normal average is 28.4 inches. We will now enter 2013 with an almost 21-inch snow deficit. It is becoming increasingly unlikely that we will see anything around or near our total season average of 75-76 inches.

That said, we’ve still got all of January, February, and March for the really big snowfalls to occur. However, no big systems are set to impact West Michigan over the next week or so.

As we talk about a snow deficit, remember Lake Michigan water levels are at or near record lows. Any lack of snow this winter will only exacerbate the problem as we head into spring and summer.

  • Click here for information on water levels.
  • Take a look at the U.S. Drought Monitor for the Midwest.

A good portion of central and southern lower Michigan remains under “abnormally dry” conditions. A look at the entire United States, shows almost each of the lower 48 states has been impacted by drought…and it continues well into the winter. The worst conditions are clearly evident through the Northern, Central, and Southern Plains.

  • Click here to see the U.S. seasonal drought outlook from meteorologists at the Climate Prediction Center.

Get the complete West Michigan forecast, as well as satellite, temperature, and radar maps at Have a pleasant, peaceful, and safe New Year’s Eve.

  • Click here for some New Year’s Eve events and happenings around Grand Rapids.