Friday, September 30 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Mother Nature is ringing in the New Year with a winter storm system expected to arrive in the southern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula late Saturday afternoon. And while it won’t bring us any huge snowpacks by Michigan standards, it’s expected to produce some treacherous driving conditions after the sun goes down.

Let’s take a look at the forecasts that have been compiled by the offices of the National Weather Service in Michigan. They’ll help you determine where the worst of the blowing and blowing snow – and poor visibility for drivers – is likely to develop tonight.

Opinions and perspectives

First, be aware that a Winter Weather Advisory now covers the lower half of the Lower Peninsula. While we likely won’t see a winter storm watch or warning issued – there won’t be enough snow accumulation for that – this same area has been hit with a hazardous weather forecast designation. Counties under this label include: Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clare, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Muskegon, Montcalm, Gratiot, Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Clinton, Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Ingham, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun and Jackson.

snow accumulation

Snowfall forecast totals haven’t changed much in the past 24 hours, according to NWS meteorologists. Here’s what they expect to see:

  • 1 to 3 inches across central lower Michigan
  • 3 to 6 inches from the southern corridor of I-96 to I-94
  • Snow is reduced to a trace in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula
  • Lake Effect Snow Opportunities in the UP

Hourly

Here’s what NWS meteorologists have left on the timing of this winter storm:

Arrival: between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in southern and central Michigan

Heaviest snowfall: 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 1:00 a.m. Sunday

Risky travel conditions

That’s the real concern of this winter storm. The NWS urges people to be careful if they have to be on the roads, especially after dark when road conditions and visibility are expected to deteriorate. The worst conditions are expected to develop tonight when the heaviest period of snowfall combines with falling temperatures and increasingly windy conditions. Blowing snow and blowing snow are expected in some areas.

“Hazardous travel conditions will develop tonight and will continue through tonight,” NWS staff in Grand Rapids said. “A combination of snow, blowing snow and snowdrifts and teenage temperature drops will create dangerous travel. The snow is moving this afternoon and peaking in intensity this evening. The worst conditions will occur tonight. …As we’ve said all along, the biggest concern with this system will be the impact it will have on travel tonight and tonight. Go easy on ice and snow!

This winter storm will also pack a strong northerly wind, which will bring temperatures down tonight, with high temperatures dropping into the teens overnight. Colder temperatures will mean road salt will be less effective.

Even a Great Lake enters the storm. A gale warning is in effect for the open waters of the southern half of Lake Michigan this evening. Waves up to 10 feet are expected.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for the southern half of the lower peninsula as a winter storm system approaches. Chart provided by the National Weather Service.

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