Arctic Blast And Lake Snows To Dominate Our Weather The Next Few Days

Posted at 10:52 PM, Jan 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-20 08:12:31-05

After temperatures in the 40s on Saturday with some light rain showers, readings plunged by Sunday morning as tempsfell in to the teens behind an Arctic cold front. Our 7-day forecast shows high temps for Sunday around the 40 degree mark, but don’t be fooled. That number represents the high for the day, which occurs at midnight. Actual daytime highs will be about 20 degrees lower with a brisk wind from the west/northwest.

The attached snapshot represents the total amount of snow most areas are expected to receive through Tuesday. That said, we should all realize that only minimal amounts of snow (an inch or two) will fall Saturday night through Sunday before the heavier snow begins to develop Sunday night into Monday. As the graphic shows, the heaviest snow will accumulate along/west of U.S. 131 to the lakeshore where six to 12 inches are possible. The further east of 131, the less snow.

Our entire structure of change occurs Saturday night into Sunday with falling temperatures, significant wind, and some light snow showers. Winds will be on the order of 20 to 30 mph sustained, with gusts of 45 inland and 50 to 60 or more at the immediate lakeshore into early Sunday morning. Anything liquid on surfaces outside will certainly freeze. Wind chills will run in the single digits to near zero most of the day. As a wave of energy slides through the Great Lakes Sunday night and Monday, the intensity of the snow is expected to increase and accumulations will start to add up. Here are some of the peak wind gusts we have from overnight creating scattered power outages:

  • Grand Haven 67 mph
  • Muskegon 65 mph
  • South Haven 62 mph
  • Lansing 61 mph
  • Battle Creek 60 mph
  • East Grand Rapids 58 mph
  • Big Sable Point 57 mph
  • Marshall 55 mph

Most of our computer forecast models are showing a west/northwest wind through a large majority of this Arctic event. That means snow will be dragged a little further inland and affect areas  like western Kent County, western Barry, and western Kalamazoo County.  A typical northwest wind usually impacts areas from Holland southward, but winds will have a bit more of a westerly component to them. Remember with Arctic air, any spray from Lake Michigan will freeze on board walks, piers, and walkways, so be careful if you plan to visit the lakeshore. In fact, a HEAVY FREEZING SPRAY WARNING is in effect through 1:00 PM Sunday for those areas.

LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNINGSfor our lakeshore counties (including Kalamazoo) will go in to effect at 7:00 PM this evening through 5:00 PM Monday. LAKE EFFECT SNOW ADVISORIES are in effect from 7:00 PM Sunday evening through 5:00 PM Monday afternoon for Newaygo, Kent, Barry, Calhoun, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, and Branch Counties. Photos of anything weather related from this event can be emailed to Get the complete West Michigan forecast, including temperatures and wind chills at