Warmer Temps And Rain On The Way

Posted at 8:35 AM, Feb 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-10 13:25:19-05

WEST MICHIGAN – After experiencing a fairly hefty snowfall Thursday into Friday, the big meltdown was already in progress Friday afternoon and all of Saturday with the sunshine we saw. Now, temperatures are expected to warm in to the low 40s by midnight on Sunday. Winds will increase, rain will develop, and dense fog will ensue as warmer air pushes over the cold snowpack.

The timetable for all of this is Sunday. In fact, a strong developing low pressure system moving out of the Central Plains will create heavy snow and blizzard conditions across the Central/Northern Plains, but this time Michigan will be on the front side of this system. Blizzard warnings already cover six states…click here to see the warnings. That means a warmer flow from the south will bring us anywhere from a quarter to one half-inch of rain. Luckily, it appears as if we will NOT see heavy rain from this system. With all of the snowpack and warmer temps, flooding could quickly become a major issue, so stay tuned to later forecasts! Robinson Township in Ottawa County in particular will need to monitor Grand River levels since an ice jam remains locked in place with the river levels about two feet over flood stage. More rain and melting snow will only exacerbate the problem. We may see a light mix of precipitation develop Sunday morning (light freezing rain/drizzle) especially in areas south/west of Grand Rapids. As temps warm, all precipitation will change over to light rain during the afternoon and stay that way through Sunday night and Monday morning. Once we get behind the system, any liquid precip will changeover to snow showers by Monday afternoon with one to two inches possible along/west of U.S. 131.

Our warmest temperatures on Sunday will be in the low 40s around midnight. That said, our warmest temps on Monday will likely occur at/shortly after midnight around 40 before they fall slowly throughout the day. It will be breezy on Sunday, but turn windy on Monday with southwest/west winds at least 12 to 24 mph sustained. The attached photo is from our FutureTrack HD computer forecast model valid at 6:00 PM on Sunday. You can see the strong low pressure system to our west. The blue behind the system is now, while the green ahead of it is rain. The steadier rain is colored in yellow, while the pink denotes some freezing rain/sleet…what I call the zone of transition.

Notice also the isobars (the thin gray lines around the low) lines of constant or equal pressure. The tighter they’re packed together, the stronger the winds will be. Again, the strongest winds will likely come through on Monday. Temperatures will remain at or slightly above normal the next several days until some colder air punches in by the end of the week. More accumulating snow is possible Thursday P.M. with lake-effect snow showers continuing into Friday and Saturday. Get more at