Heavy lake effect snow through Friday

Posted at 10:38 AM, Dec 07, 2016

WEST MICHIGAN- After avoiding the snow for several days, it seems we're heading into a snowy period over the next several days, and that begins overnight Wednesday and continues through Friday.


A disturbance to our north is drawing in cold, Canadian air and generating our winds from the west and northwest.   As this system moves off to the southeast, we'll see this storm generate heavy lake effect snow bands as it moves closer to our area over the next 48 hours.


We'll start with our winds Thursday morning.  Winds will be out of the west steadily at 20 mph with gusts over 30 mph at times.  This will be the direction our first bands of lake effect snow develop from, and this will push it slightly further inland than the usual U.S. 131.


Starting off early Thursday morning, air temperatures will be in the lower 20s, but that strong west wind will bring some of our wind chills into the single digits!  Dig out those heavier winter coats, you'll need them over the next few days.


We can expect light snow to begin as early as a couple of hours before midnight.  This will continue into the early morning hours, with coverage and intensity increasing throughout the day.


As a result of the anticipated heavy snowfalls in West Michigan, Winter Storm Warnings are in place for areas closer to the immediate lakeshore, with Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Watches for areas slightly away from the bullseye of anticipated snow.


Snowfall totals in the areas under the Winter Storm Warning could reach a foot, and may exceed it in some locations.  This will have much to do with the stronger lake effect influence overnight Thursday into Friday as our snowfall rates could reach up to 2 inches per hour!


Because of our expected heavy snowfall rates and gusty winds, the potential for white out conditions and zero visibility will be high later Thursday into Friday morning.  Download the FOX 17 Weather App to stay up to date with the changing conditions.