WEST MICHIGAN — There's an old saying stating "if you don't like the weather in Michigan, wait 5 minutes it will change." It took a little longer than that, but in the course of less than 48 hours, we went from 75 degrees and severe thunderstorms on Tuesday, to snow showers and brief squalls and 30s/40s today. Granted the fact not everyone has seen or will see the snow today, but we have received at least a handful of videos and photos in the newsroom.
It seems folks may be surprised of the drastic change. I feel as if many thought we may have been completely done with flakes flying this season. While I've said many times our significant accumulating snow is likely done, we can and have had trace amounts of snow all the way into May! Our normal total season snowfall is about 74 inches for April 9. Thus far this season we've only tallied 51.3 inches. That's a deficit of 22.7 inches.
We have seen flakes and raindrops falling today in northern Kent County in Algoma Township and around Rockford, as well as a few other places across our northern counties. In Coral, Michigan in Montcalm County, you can clearly see in the photo below the snow that has fallen. Thanks to Tracy Parent. What the photo can't show are the strong winds whipping the flakes through the air and creating wind chills in the 20s!
Another image (below) was taken today by Robert Beardsley in Newaygo County around the Hardy Dam. He said the snow covered everything in about ten minutes. His picture is also the thumbnail to this story.
While some of us may be seeing and experiencing a winter scene (briefly), that is not the case everywhere. Our lakeshore locations are, in fact, seeing sunny skies with little/no cloud cover. Why? Our visible satellite image below shows stratocumulus cloud cover cropping up in inland locations. That said, look at the areas IMMEDIATELY downwind from Lake Michigan, west of U.S. 131. This time of year there can be a stabilizing effect from the cooler waters of the lake. Long scientific story short...it can mitigate the formation of cloud genesis due to the colder marine air, and the end result is sunny skies immediately downwind of the lake. Keep in mind we have a very strong/brisk west-northwest wind off the lake today. See image below.
The image below was taken from NOAA and is the GLERL Camera in Muskegon. The image was snapped around 12:20 this afternoon and clearly shows the sunny skies at the lakeshore. Note the cloud cover on the far western horizon as clouds form inland over Wisconsin and blow eastward over western portions of Lake Michigan.
Today's weather reminds me of the old saying that realtors use...location, location, location. No matter where you are, we are all getting the strong winds and cold temperatures. That colder weather will remain over the next several days and into next week. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.