Midday Weather Update: Snow to Increase In Spots This Afternoon

Posted at 11:21 AM, Jan 23, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Lake-effect snow showers remained fairly quiet through most of the morning, but FOX 17 meteorologists expect them to become heavier and more widespread Wednesday afternoon and evening.

As of 11:00 A.M., mainly light snow showers continued from the lakeshore inland to Grand Rapids, with a few embedded heavier pockets along I-96 in Ottawa and Muskegon counties.

However, an upper-level disturbance will rotate through the Great Lakes later today and create more favorable conditions for accumulating snow across much of the area.  Initially, those will become fairly widespread for most locations along and west of U.S. 131.  Most of these spots will pick up about one to three inches of snow before it starts to shift this evening.

Temperatures will hold only in the teens during the afternoon Wednesday, so no improvement is expected in regard to road conditions even in areas outside the lake-effect snow.

As winds start to shift late this afternoon and into this evening, snow bands may become more concentrated in locations south of I-96.  These bands will focus some locally heavier snow in parts of southern Ottawa and Kent counties, along with much of Allegan and Van Buren counties.  Some heavier snow may also spread into a significant portion of Kalamazoo, Barry, and Calhoun counties as well.  These places should end up with accumulations of two to five inches through this evening.

Roads will continue to be very dangerous in the counties along the lakeshore; however, many inland highways will see additional problems through the evening commute as well.  These will likely include U.S. 131 south of Grand Rapids, M-6, and I-94 possibly as far east as I-69.

Late tonight, the primary snow band will shift toward the southwest corner of the state, and eventually offshore, as the wind turns to the north.  That will end most of the snow showers around West Michigan, with mainly dry conditions expected through the daytime hours of Thursday.

Additional snow is expected Friday with a low-pressure system that will move through the region; however, that system will also help to bring milder air that will allow salt and chemicals to become more effective at treating icy roads.

Temperatures near 40° are possible for the first half of next week.

Updated forecasts and interactive radar are available on the Weather page.