Watching snow for Wednesday

Posted at 7:19 PM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-21 19:44:28-05

WEST MICHIGAN — We are watching for the possibility of significant snowfall on Wednesday across the entire area. Our forecast models strongly indicate an area of low pressure will develop in the lower Mississippi River Valley on Tuesday, and move to the north and northeast on Wednesday. The exact position of this low is very difficult to determine at this point in time, but it looks like it will pass somewhere between Indianapolis, IN and Charleston, WV.

If this low goes further east (through Charleston, for example) the bulk of the moisture will also miss us to the east and southeast, giving us only minor accumulations at best. If it takes a more westerly track, we are likely to get some significant snow mixed with rain.

That’s the other issue with this system: It does look like it will have plenty of mild air with it from the Gulf of Mexico. This could keep us at a rain/snow mix for a long enough period of time to minimize snowfall totals on Wednesday, even if the low makes a more favorable, westerly trek.

On the backside of this low on Wednesday night and Thursday, enough cold air should work in to change our precip type over to all snow across the area. Initially this snow will be a combination of system snow and lake enhanced snow. As we progress through Thursday, however, we will see a transition over to all lake effect snow with the typical northwest wind snowbelts adjacent to Lake Michigan getting the most accumulation.

We will keep you posted as the week wears on. For now, be prepared for the possibility of messy travel conditions on Wednesday.