Highly localized heavy snow hits some areas overnight

Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 12:09:10-05

WEST MICHIGAN— Were you surprised when you awoke on Wednesday morning to find schools delayed or cancelled due to the snow? While most areas picked up only a dusting to an inch, there were a handful of locations that got hit with some pretty appreciable snow.

One of the highest snowfall totals I could find was in Ionia County in Orleans. They picked up 8 inches! Grandville in western Kent County measured 6.6 inches, Howard City in Montcalm County five inches, and the National Weather Service at the Ford Airport in Grand Rapids had 3.2 inches.

So why the heavy snow? There was a surface low pressure system moving through the lower Great Lakes in the overnight hours. Certain locations got caught under the pivot point behind this low and saw a few hours of quick snow bursts. Recall that everything revolves around these systems in the opposite direction in which the clock moves. The extra lift in the atmosphere and heavy snow was also aided by a cold pool of air aloft or upper level low pressure system. All of these things just aided in the heavy snow bursts. These types of events don’t happen often, but when they do we can all be caught by surprise.

Cooler air coming in behind this system may generate some lake effect snow showers along/west of U.S. 131 through Thursday, otherwise high pressure building in to the Great Lakes later Friday and for our weekend will provide very pleasant weather. Get the complete forecast at