Some Saturday melting and compacting, more snow expected tonight

Posted at 10:40 AM, Jan 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-18 11:12:49-05

WEST MICHIGAN — Some melting is now occurring across West Michigan late this Saturday morning as above freezing air has been working northward into the viewing area. We look for areas of drizzle / light rain or a rain/snow mix to dominate the late morning and early afternoon period with temperatures headed for the middle and upper 30s.

Colder air aloft will begin to return mid-late afternoon and thus intermittent light rain / light snow will shift back to snow showers. Initially, the snow showers will not accumulate much but as colder temperatures arrive later this evening we will be looking at the prospect for light accumulations of snow to accompany road conditions that will be becoming increasingly icy with time as refreezing takes place. Overnight readings will drop into the lower 20s.

Expect snow showers and snow squalls to be common overnight tonight into the first half of Sunday. A widespread 1-4" of snow can be anticipated with localized amounts even higher due to the local banding of lake-effect snow showers/squalls with the focus along and west of US Highway 131.

The usual hot spots for lake-effect banding in portions of southern Ottawa, Allegan and Van Buren Counties likely will again prove to see some of the heavier amounts through Sunday early afternoon. Some heavier activity will likely also affect Muskegon, Oceana, and Newaygo Counties for a period as well.

Expect conditions to improve later Sunday from north to south as wind trajectories shift to more of a north / south direction through the afternoon and evening.

Another factor with this weekend's storm will be the increasing winds this afternoon and evening. As low pressure passes by to our north, we will be looking at a dramatic increase in our winds area wide mid-late afternoon through this evening and into the first half of Sunday. Gusts can reach as high as 45 mph, perhaps 50 mph along the lakeshore for a period with gusts inland to near 40 mph or so. Waves can get as high as 11-13 feet later this evening and into Sunday morning. For this reason along with an increased risk for low-lying flooding, we have Lakeshore Flood Warnings posted for the entirety of the lakeshore within the West Michigan viewing area until 7 P.M. Sunday.