Briefly warmer, light mix, rain later this week

Posted at 12:19 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 12:26:50-05

WEST MICHIGAN — While high pressure over the Great Lakes will deliver some sunshine in Michigan both Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures will be slow to warm. We will eventually make the upper 30s/near 40 Thursday and Friday, but the warmer temps will arrive with some light mixed precipitation Thursday night in to Friday morning. The image attached to this story is valid for 10:00 PM Thursday night and is from our forecast model FutureTrack HD. It shows precipitation streaming toward Michigan…mainly rain in the color green, but we may also see some frozen precipitation mix in as temps cool overnight.

The other weather item worth noting was Tuesday morning’s low temperatures across the area. Single digits and low double digits were prevalent with high pressure overhead, a dry air mass, and a meager snowpack on the ground. Big Rapids fell to -2, while Grand Rapids stopped at 10 above. Even our immediate lakeshore locations fell in to the single digits due to an east/southeast wind with no Lake Michigan influence.

A low pressure system moving in to the Upper Midwest Thursday may generate some light mixed precipitation Thursday evening/night. Some light freezing rain, rain, or snow will be possible Thursday night in to Friday morning before temperatures warm and everything changes to rain on Friday. We’ll likely see rain changing to snow showers through the day Saturday before temperatures drop on Sunday with some lake-effect snow showers likely and highs only in the 20s.

Some of our forecast models are showing the coldest air of the season arriving next Monday with highs only expected in the teens! This blast of Arctic air has the potential with a defined westerly wind and plenty of moisture to produce several inches of lake-effect snow, especially along/west of U.S. 131. Make sure to stay up on later forecasts. I see the Friday morning commute being impacted this week, and the Monday morning commute next week with accumulating snow likely. You can see the forecast model snapshot below valid for Monday early afternoon. The colors denote air masses across the United States at about 5,000 feet above the surface. Temperatures in Michigan at that time will be below zero at 850 millibars, or only in the teens at the surface. That will surely crank up the lake-effect snow making machine. Notice also the arrows denoting the wind direction…in this case from the west.


Air Mass temps

You can always get the complete forecast at Have a pleasant day and enjoy the sunshine!