Strong fall cold front brings early snow to the Great Lakes

Posted at 10:36 AM, Oct 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-04 10:36:49-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Friday’s cold front brought heavy rain and gusty winds to West Michigan but it’s the combination of cold Canadian air, gusty winds and rain showers that will make the first weekend of October feel unseasonably cold.

The upper level low pressure center moved through the Great Lakes Friday evening dropping temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees in just 24 hours. Parts of Wisconsin saw measurable snowfall and the city of Chicago recorded the third earliest snowfall ever.

Westerly winds off of Lake Michigan will keep the snow flurries out of West Michigan but will bring a different type of frozen precipitation: hail.

Lake Michigan remains fairly warm and with cold air being funneled over the mild water it creates instability in the atmosphere. This instability is the same that would normally cause lake effect snow showers but with warmer temperatures this afternoon in the mid to upper 40’s it will cause small hail to fall.

Scattered rain showers will continue throughout Saturday afternoon and evening before tapering off overnight. Sunshine will return Sunday afternoon but temperatures will remain below average through next week.