Cloudy, few sprinkles Saturday, rain arrives late tonight

Posted at 10:43 AM, Dec 28, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, MIch. — Mainly cloudy skies look to be locked in for today ahead of our next weather system taking aim on West Michigan later tonight. After a daytime high on Friday of 38 degrees, we jump into the lower 40s for this afternoon. Southeast winds go between 5-15 mph. Though a few sprinkles or even an isolated light shower is possible especially for northwestern sections of the viewing area say nearer Muskegon, most of today and even this evening are to be on the dry side.

As we work past the midnight hour tonight, prospects for rainfall will be growing. A wet start to the day on Sunday is anticipated with even a rumble of thunder not out of the equation.

Widespread rain will taper back to drizzle by the afternoon but a secondary wave of energy rides northward and helps spawn additional widespread rain, some perhaps heavy, for Sunday mid-late evening into the early hours of Monday. Again, a rumble of thunder is not impossible.

Being on the warm side of this system with southerly flow in place, temperatures are to rise into the middle 50s at least ( in Grand Rapids ) with some spots nearer the Indiana line getting to around 60 degrees.

Rainfall amounts will be significant. From overnight tonight through Monday afternoon, most sections around West Michigan will tally between 1.00" - 1.50" of water.

By mid-late morning Monday, we will be down to just areas of drizzle which will carry into the afternoon. Morning readings in the 40s will slowly but surely settle back into the 30s toward midday and through the afternoon. Drizzle will build back into scattered rain and snow showers for the afternoon and evening as the upper-level low with this slow-moving system moves closer from Wisconsin. No accumulation of snow is likely to occur through much of Monday, but overnight Monday into Tuesday morning will be the time step where snow can accumulate as the upper-low pivots across West Michigan enhancing atmospheric lift and setting the stage for a burst of snow showers.

A lake-effect contribution will likely be realized Tuesday morning into the afternoon and perhaps evening as well. We are still a few days away from any potential snow so things can certainly still change particularly when you are dealing with upper-level lows which can be very fickle with where they track. Nonetheless, the best line of thinking is a general 1-3" type of snow is the way to go with locally higher amounts where lake-effect banding ends up occurring. Stay tuned over the weekend for updated forecasts.

Another factor with the forecast from Monday into Tuesday will be the strong southwest to west winds causing more beach erosion along Lake Michigan. Southwest winds on Monday shift more westerly on Tuesday at 20-25 mph with gusts to 40-45 mph. Lakeshore Flood Advisories will likely be posted as we get closer to Monday.

Temperatures will be cooler Tuesday and Wednesday with highs in the lower half of the 30s. A milder spell is projected to return for Thursday and Friday with numbers getting back to around 40 degrees, perhaps the lower 40s once again. Long-range modeling seems to be indicating that the following week may start to see more winter-like temperatures return to the Great Lakes region.