While temperatures in the 50s are awesome for some of us during this brief January thaw, it’s difficult to transition back to winter in West Michigan this time of year without some ramifications or repercussions. That said, these warm temps will be sweep off to the east as a strong cold front blasts through the state. The problem? It will be replaced by a sharply colder airmass with a transition to freezing rain, sleet, and a dusting to an inch of snow through Sunday.
The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for our entire area for the possibility of some treacherous and hazardous driving Saturday night into Sunday morning. The main threat will NOT be heavy snow, but accumulating ice on roads, streets, walkways, bridges, and overpasses. Anywhere from one tenth to as much as a quarter of an inch of ice is possible from around Holland, through Grand Rapids, and up to Mount Pleasant. Areas south and east of Grand Rapids should see mainly rain with less freezing rain/sleet mixing in. Areas well north and west of Grand Rapids will see rain to freezing rain/sleet, to some light snow (about one inch or so). While an icy glaze is expected across much of the area into Sunday morning, it is NOT expected to be an ice storm with thicker coatings of ice, widespread power outages, and trees and limbs down from east to west and north to south.
The attached image shows various colors across our viewing area. Mainly rain will fall (in green) across our southern counties with some freezing rain or sleet mixing in. The bigger area in pink denotes rain, changing to freezing rain and sleet with .10″ to .25″ ice accumulation possible. The ZR on the color legend is the meteorological abbreviation for freezing rain. Further north in light blue shows a little rain, but a quicker changeover to freezing rain, sleet, and eventually some light snow showers with an inch or so of accumulation possible (of snow).
We’ve already set a new record high temp for January 12. Grand Rapids made 57 degrees on Saturday breaking the old record of 55 set back in 2005. Lansing hit 58, Muskegon 53, Holland 56, and Kalamazoo and Battle Creek 58. Keep up on the latest forecast trends at www.fox17online.com. Click here to see radar, click here to see area temperatures. Any photos of icing or snow would be much appreciated. They can be sent to email@example.com, or post them on the FOX 17 Facebook page. Thanks in advance. Drive safely!