WEST MICHIGAN — An icy mix of freezing rain, sleet, snow pellets, snow, and rain could create some significant issues across Michigan on Monday afternoon and evening. Almost a dozen states from Michigan to Texas have already hoisted a WINTER STORM WATCH for this very system! Click here to see the graphic.
It goes without saying that we need to remind and re-acclimate ourselves with icy winter driving. Not snow…but specifically ice! Our computer forecast models are showing the chance of some icing, possibly significant beginning Monday (after the A.M. rush hour) by late morning and in to afternoon starting from south and lifting northward. That means the Monday afternoon/evening commute would be highly impacted. Preliminary freezing rain accumulation numbers could be between .25″ and .50″. See our forecast model below. Again…this is just one model still a day out, but it certainly bears watching!
That type of ice accumulation in and of itself is bad enough, but throw in strong developing easterly winds sustained at 20 to 30 mph with some gusts of 50 or more and we have a recipe for widespread power outages and tree limbs down (not to mention numerous accidents). There are still a couple of forecast models that try to wrap slightly warmer air in to this system…which would mitigate heavier ice accumulations, but make sure to stay up on later forecasts since the possibility of significant icing is there.
At the very least, if you have a generator I would make sure you have fresh gas and that it remains in working condition. If these models verify and the ice and wind develop as planned it could be a devastating blow over the long holiday week. See the forecast model below valid Monday at 6:00 PM for wind speed/gusts/direction. As an example Grand Rapids could be looking at sustained winds of 31 mph from the east gusting to 50 mph or higher! That’s a lot of weight and stress on trees and power lines!
Temperatures may actually warm enough Monday night to see everything change to all liquid rain. A few light lingering rain/snow showers are possible Tuesday morning, otherwise the system will be tracking out of the region leaving us with mainly cloudy skies the remainder of Tuesday.
New Year’s week in general will be sharply colder and far more seasonable than Christmas week. No record high temperatures will be broken this time! Make sure to get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.