A Warmer Day, But Wetter As Well

Posted at 8:47 AM, Jan 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-10 10:55:11-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Rain, not snow, will potentially cause weather-related headaches around West Michigan as temperatures warm up into the weekend.

Temperatures were already approaching the freezing mark across much of the region early Friday morning.  The added warmth and moisture was allowing some areas of fog to develop, as shown on the towercam above.  That fog will persist much of the day Friday.  Temperatures will get back into the mid to upper 30s, allowing the next round of wet weather to come in the form of rain rather than snow.  Unfortunately, that poses another set of issues in terms of road conditions and other hazards.

First, rain falling on top of frozen ground, including roads and sidewalks that are still snow- and ice-covered, can create an icy glaze that wreaks havoc for drivers or pedestrians.  The problem will be worst on unpaved roads, but highways and main thoroughfares that are well-salted should remain just wet.

The amount of rain expected, up to around an inch on average, could also mean that combined with snowmelt, some localized flooding may result.  However, much of the rain will become locked in the snowpack itself rather than run off, so widespread flooding is not a major concern.

The last issue is less serious, but still a nuisance — rain falling on the snow will cause it to become slushy and heavy if you still need to clear it from driveways and other surfaces.  It will also make for less-than-ideal snow  conditions for winter sports.  After cold weather closed local ski areas for a couple of days this week, the resorts will face a no-win situation of sorts even as temperatures become more comfortable.

You can keep up with the 7 Day Forecast on the Weather page.