WEST MICHIGAN – Winter officially doesn’t begin until December 21, but perhaps someone should tell Mother Nature!
Although accumulating snow in early December is not unusual, the Arctic outbreak of air certainly is. Frigid temps have seeped as far south as Texas and the Gulf Coast and so has ice and accumulating snow. The attached graphic shows current temperatures as of 6:00 PM Sunday. Very cold! Almost all the lower 48 states are experiencing temperatures well below normal for this time of year. Along with it, a major winter storm some have dubbed Dion spreading snow and ice from Texas all the way in to the Northeast United States.
I’m not exactly sure how, when, or why other Meteorologists and weather outlets began naming winter storms, but it’s not something most of us in the business do or agree with for that matter. It’s a different situation completely when we’re talking about a tropical system.
As far as the Great Lakes are concerned, reinforcing cold air will continue to plague us this week. In fact, after the cold front swings though on Monday, winds will increase and temperatures will actually fall slowly throughout the day behind the system. This Arctic blast will also crank up the lake-effect snow making machine (along with lake enhancement) throughout this week. Cold air coming across the relatively warmer waters of Lake Michigan and an occassional disturbance in the atmosphere will work together to generate accumulating snow here and there throughout the week. So if your ground isn’t white by Monday morning, it most likely will be by weeks end.
Normal/average high temperatures for this time of year have us at 37 degrees. We’ll be lucky to break the freezing mark this week at all, which means any snow we get will likely stay put for several days. There are indications that a warm up in to the 30s is on the way for the weekend, so make sure to stay up on later forecasts.