Snow, Cold Gradually Returning Wednesday

Posted at 9:54 AM, Jan 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-30 09:54:32-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Falling temperatures will change rain back to snow around West Michigan during the day Wednesday, but it will be a gradual process.

After setting record highs for the day shortly after midnight, temperatures were already in the mid-30s by mid-morning northwest of Grand Rapids and in the upper 30s to near 40° along the lakeshore, but lingered near 50° for Kalamazoo and other nearby areas.  Those numbers will all drop into the 30s, but readings will then generally stabilize there for much of the afternoon.  A few icy spots may develop in the coldest areas by late afternoon, but will take longer for locations from Grand Rapids to the southeast.

A wave of moisture and energy will spread rain showers back into West Michigan, which will transition to snow from northwest to southeast through the afternoon.  However, that moisture will be leaving the area before the transition takes place all over the region; this means that while there may be an inch or two of snow northwest of Grand Rapids through the afternoon, other locations will likely see little or no accumulation until lake-effect snow develops in the evening and overnight.

Lake-effect snow showers will develop in the evening and overnight as colder air continues to pour into the region.  As temperatures drop into the teens and 20s, standing water and wet pavement will turn icy, and snow will then fall on top of the ice, creating the potential for some very tricky driving conditions heading into Thursday morning.  Most inland areas will see no more than an inch or two of snow by Thursday morning; however, totals will likely be in the two- to five-inch range west of U.S. 131 as well as in much of Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties.

After perhaps a brief break early Thursday, lake snow showers will get heavier and more widespread as an upper-level disturbance swings through the Midwest Thursday night.  The same lakeshore communities that picked up the heaviest snow last week will likely see totals again in excess of one foot.  Snow will start to diminish by late Friday.

The bottom line of the forecast is that sloppy, messy, icy, and snowy conditions will be sticking around through the beginning of the weekend.  Make sure to stay up-to-date on the forecast with FOX 17 News and on the Weather page.