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Burst of evening snow showers, then bitter cold Wednesday

Posted at 5:23 AM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 07:36:20-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Winter Weather Advisories have been posted for this evening through Wednesday morning for most of the West Michigan viewing area.

As an arctic boundary slips southward this afternoon into this evening, a burst of lake-effect / lake-enhanced snow showers will occur from north to south across the region with the focus for locations along and especially west of US Highway 131. Officially, Oceana and Newaygo counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory from 4 P.M. this afternoon until 4 P.M. Wednesday afternoon. Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, and Calhoun counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory from 7 P.M. this evening until NOON Wednesday.

Total snow amounts will not be tremendous, but a general 1-2", possibly 3" type of a snow looks likely for the region. With temperatures in the 20s and falling from there overnight tonight, roadways will become and likely remain snow-covered as road treatment methods will not be very effective. The best time frame for snow showers looks to be between about 6 P.M. tonight and 6 A.M. Wednesday morning. Scattered flurries and a few light snow showers can continue later into tomorrow morning but no additional significant snow is anticipated as activity will be winding down.

Actual air temperatures will fall into the teens during the mid-morning period on Wednesday and remain there during the afternoon. Northwest winds will be brisk tonight and through much of Wednesday at 10-25 mph, gusting to around 30 mph or so for most of us. Wind chills will range between -5 degrees to 5 degrees for a number of hours on Wednesday so it is important to remember to bundle up properly with time to frostbite down to 20 to 30 minutes for exposed skin.

Immediate Lakeshore communites will be even breezier with wind gusts to around 40 mph tonight and through tomorrow morning. Lakeshore Flood Advisories have been posted for Muskegon, Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren, and Berrien counties from 7 P.M. this evening until 4 P.M. Wednesday. Minor beach erosion and minor lakeshore flooding can occur with waves that will build to between 6-9 feet. Wind chills will range between -5 degrees to 5 degrees for a number of hours on Wednesday so it is important to remember to bundle up properly with time to frostbite down to 20 to 30 minutes for exposed skin.

Here's the good news: noticeably milder air in the 30s returns already by Thursday afternoon and we get into the 40s by this coming weekend. A mild pattern looks to continue right on through Christmas week. Prospects for a White Christmas appear dismal.