WEST MICHIGAN — It was a warm start to the week with temperatures reaching into the 70’s Monday and became the perfect Halloween trick played on West Michigan by mother-nature.
The warm weather was short-lived as temperatures dropped into the 50’s behind the cold front but the coldest air has yet to move into the Great Lakes. Unseasonably cold air will drop south into West Michigan Thursday evening and Friday dropping temperatures below freezing overnight and barely allowing temperatures to warm into the low 40’s Friday afternoon.
It’s not just the unseasonably cool temperatures that will play a Halloween trick on West Michigan, temperatures will be cold enough at multiple times during the early morning hours Friday to allow light snow flurries to mix in with rain showers. Snow accumulation is not expected but conditions will be favorable to see snow flakes develop making Friday the first opportunity to see snow in West Michigan this season. With the potential for the first snow is looking very likely for Friday for some it may seem rather early but it actually isn’t too far from normal. The average first snowflakes fall within the first two weeks in November and for the last 5 years Grand Rapids has seen the first snow within the first ten days of November. As if snow and cold temperatures weren’t enough for trick-or-treaters add howling winds as well into the mix and it will make this Halloween feel even cooler.
A large pressure gradient will form early Friday morning, creating very windy conditions. Winds will gust between 30 and 40 miles per hour making it feel even cooler. The howling winds will also create large swells along the Great Lakes with waves possibly reaching between 7 and 14 feet. Gusty winds could create sporadic power outages as very gusty winds have the possibility to down tree limbs.
As we head into the weekend, a ridge will develop in the central plains and move into the Great Lakes allowing for temperatures to become more mild. The ridge will bring clear and dry conditions in for the weekend but clear skies overnight will allow temperatures to drop into the 20’s overnight. Despite the cool starts to the weekend morning temperatures will moderate by afternoon and temperatures will gradually warm to around seasonably average by the next work week.