Winter storm on the way for this weekend

Heavy snow possible for some, rain for others
Posted at 5:29 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 05:29:05-05

WEST MICHIGAN - A strong, developing low pressure system coming out of the southwest United States will impact the Great Lakes this weekend. It will tap plenty of Gulf moisture, and bring heavy rain and heavy snow across our area. Where you live will be crucial to the type of precipitation you'll see. We also expect colder temperatures and windy conditions with this system as it arrives and departs.

Our forecast model below, valid for 6 P.M. Friday, shows the storm system just to our southwest, but rain showers already overspreading much of the area.

We expect heavy rain, likely an inch or two across our southern counties Friday night into Saturday, and a changeover from rain to snow elsewhere through the day on Saturday. See our forecast model image below, valid for 6 P.M. Saturday.

Our southern counties will see mainly rain and almost no snow accumulation with this system. Conversely, areas with colder air in place and mainly snow through the entire duration of this event may see six inches or more of thick, heavy, wet, high-moisture content snow...north of Grand Rapids. See our graphic below.

This article and our meteorological analysis is based on the current track of this system. This track has been changing further north/west with each forecast model run. Why is that important? Because it pushes the heaviest snow (or potential thereof) further north and wraps warmer air into the system, which ultimately translates to liquid precipitation or rain. Take a look at how much moisture this system is bringing (below) with it according to the GFS forecast model. A solid 1" to 2" or more. That's alot of wetness!

Take a look at what our forecast models are outputting for this system. Below is the European Model. These are snow totals!

And the GFS model below. Note the consistency of both models outputting the highest totals well north of Grand Rapids.

Remember, if the track of this system is further north/west in southern lower Michigan, the higher totals of snow will be pushed further north. If the track is further south/east, we'll see the heavier snow shift over the I-96 corridor. That said, the trend has been further north/west. This is likely to be a shovelable snow for some of us. Be will be very wet and heavy. Get the complete forecast at