WEST MICHIGAN — This season’s first snowfall arrived late Friday night/early Saturday morning across the area. Compared to last year, we’re actually running a little behind. This system produced more than a foot of snow across the Upper Midwest and white-out conditions in the Northern Plains sending vehicles in to ditches and turning the region in to a winter wonderland.
Here at home the heaviest accumulations are (and will continue to be) south/east of Grand Rapids where a solid five to eight inches will fall from this low pressure system tracking through the southern Great Lakes. Areas along I-96 will be in the two to four inch range with our northern counties are expecting about one to three inches. Since temperatures Saturday morning/afternoon are hovering around the freezing mark, the texture to this snow is a wet, heavy, packing snow with plenty of moisture to it.
As a general rule of thumb we normally account for a 10:1 ratio…that’s 10 inches of snow for every one inch of liquid precipitation. While that may be the case now, look for a lower moisture, drier snowfall to occur Saturday night in to Sunday as sharply colder air wraps in behind this system and some lake-effect snow showers commence with some additional minor accumulations.
All of our FOX 17 viewing area remains under and WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY while our southern counties of Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Eaton, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, and Branch Counties remain under WINTER STORM WARNINGS as the heaviest snow will fall there. You can click hereto see the latest advisory/warning configuration.
While driving may be OK in some locations as this melts on the surface streets and roadways, that will not be the case tonight when temperatures plummet well below freezing in to the low/mid 20s and everything freezes. Make sure to be aware we’ll need to (re)acclimate ourselves with this winter driving and slow things way down, especially on bridges and overpasses that are the first to freeze with colder air surrounding these structures and freezing the liquid first.
As of mid-day Saturday the totals reported to the National Weather Service have 5.2″ in Paw Paw (Van Buren County), 1.7″ Wayland (Allegan County), 1″ in Ada (Kent), 3″ in Holt and 4″ in Mason (Ingham), 5″ in Kalamazoo and 5″ in Cooper and already 6.5″ in Portage (Kalamazoo), and about 3″ in Grand Ledge (Eaton). Make sure to post your snowfall reports on our FOX 17 Facebook page here. You can always get the complete West Michigan forecast, plus a look at current temperatures, radar, and satellite at www.fox17online.com/weather.
The image attached to this story was emailed to us by D. Vanoosten and was snapped in Allegan. Make sure to post your photos on our Facebook page or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll say thanks in advance!