Windy and cold with icy roads tonight

Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 19:33:12-05

WEST MICHIGAN -- The winds of change will be blowing tonight across the FOX 17 viewing area, bringing a changeover from rain to snow showers, a flash freeze, wind gusts up to 40 mph, and additional power outages. For those reasons, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Grand Rapids has extended the Winter Weather Advisory for most of the area until 7:00 PM tomorrow. All counties in purple below are in this advisory:

The counties in the light brown color along the Indiana state line are in a Wind Advisory until 4:00 AM tomorrow:

Winds could gust to 45 mph in the advisory area. Other parts of West Michigan not in the Wind Advisory can still expect gusts to 40 mph overnight, and possibly to 45 mph along the lakeshore. Here is a look at Future Track HD wind speeds later on tonight:

These strong west/southwesterly winds will be picking up behind a powerful cold front. So we're also looking at a big drop in temperatures as we head through the evening. Here is a look at where temperatures could be just before midnight:

This rapid drop in temperatures combined with the strong winds will cause a flash freeze across the area. This will create icy roads once again overnight.

Further complicating things will be the lake effect snow that will move in behind this cold front. So this will also contribute to the slippery roads, and reduce visibility for the morning commute tomorrow. In fact, if you don't have to travel tomorrow, it's probably best to stay home. Here is a look at forecast snow totals overnight and into Friday:

The snow will taper off to flurries Friday night, setting the stage for a seasonably cold Saturday with highs in the 20s and much lighter winds. However, more snow is likely on Sunday. For more information, be sure to tune in to FOX 17 News!