Rain, snow, fog, Arctic cold on the way

Posted at 11:54 AM, Dec 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-08 17:19:45-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Expect another mainly cloudy one here on Sunday to wrap up the weekend. Temperatures do climb higher into the lower half of the 40s around West Michigan but with brisk southwest winds our wind chills will be in the 30s throughout the day. These southwest winds will continue to go at 10-20 mph gusting to 25+ mph at times into mid-afternoon helping to draw the mercury higher. Lakeshore Flood Advisories continue for Ottawa, Muskegon, and Oceana counties until 7 P.M. this evening for waves between 6-8 feet, possibly higher, causing more beach erosion. Winds will relax dramatically early this evening. We keep the forecast dry through the daylight stretch with any drizzle and light rain holding off until later this evening into the overnight.

It will be a wet open to the day on Monday with light rain likely ongoing for the morning commute. The good news is that temperatures will be well above freezing overnight into Monday maintaining all rain as opposed to any wintry precipitation. Overnight lows tonight are to be near 40 degrees and readings will climb into the middle 40s Monday afternoon. Periods of drizzle and light rain will continue into the afternoon and evening before switching to flurries and scattered snow showers late evening into the early hours of Tuesday.

Most of the system moisture will be gone by the time we change over to snow, so nothing impressive in terms of accumulation is anticipated. However, with the damp ground from the recent rainfall and any light dusting or coating of snow that does manage to fall will contribute to slick road conditions for drive time Tuesday morning. Temperatures will begin the day in the upper 20s on Tuesday and will likely hold steady or even fall back slowly through the day as colder air works into West Michigan. With brisk northwest winds at 15-20 mph gusting higher, wind chills will spend most hours in the low to mid teens.

With all this cold air blowing over the waters of Lake Michigan, lake-effect scattered flurries and snow showers will develop for sections focused west of US Highway 131. This same type of a setup will continue into Wednesday with brisk west to northwest winds helping maintain the prospect for lake-effect flurries and snow showers. Over the course of the Tuesday / Wednesday time frame, localized sections west of US Highway 131 will have the chance for a few inches of snow, perhaps several inches of snow to fall. Right now, it seems like only light accumulations should be anticipated in Grand Rapids though anything that does fall during the midweek period will accumulate easily with all the cold air in place. Therefore, slippery roadways will easily be achieved across all of West Michigan during the midweek period. Some of our models are not very bullish on lake-effect snow potential but oftentimes models do not see lake-effect snow very well. Stay tuned to the forecast for refinements over the next couple of days. The potential for lake-effect snow looks to break down Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning. Daytime high temperatures will be close to 20 degrees on Wednesday for most of us, but with stiff west northwest winds at 15-25 mph gusting as high as 30-35 mph, wind chills will be in the single digits. It is still possible that we could have wind chills below zero early in the days of Wednesday and again on Thursday.

Thursday likely continues to see a good deal of cloud cover around the region and some indications now even drag a weak disturbance across the lower Great Lakes which could help spawn some additional flurries or snow showers. The arctic air remains in place on Thursday but will gradually be weakening its grip with time. Highs on Thursday reach the middle 20s as light winds shift around to the south and increase later in the day / evening. Friday should be a breezy occasion with those same south winds helping push the mercury back well into the 30s by days end. We stay mild on Saturday in the upper 30s before a return to some cooler air for Sunday and Monday. A new system could bring new rain / snow showers back into West Michigan at some point on Saturday.