Snow and Cold is Coming!January 16th, 2013 at 4:35 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
First, clouds move in today. Snow starts in NW Lower Michigan and develops down toward G.R. We could see as much as 1-2″ north of a line from Muskegon to Big Rapids with a dusting down to I-94. The fairly strong wind may cause some drifting. Run errands in the AM if you can. Colder with lighter snow showers possible on Thursday and Friday (not much). Saturday things start to get interesting. A cold front will bring snow…right now maybe 1-3″ Saturday PM/Night. with some drifting. We could see a couple hours of moderate to heavy snow late in the day or early night. The cold air pours in with temperatures stuck in the mid-upper teens Monday and low-mid teens on Tuesday (and this is with the lake-warming…Milwaukee goes to -4 with a 17 mph wind. The combination of cold air (we go to -23 at 850mb) and the relatively warm lake could touch off some significant lake-effect snow (we’re talking over a foot in the favorable lake bands) from Saturday to Wednesday. The European takes G.R. to +3F Tues. evening. If you take the measurable precipitation the European prints out for G.R. from Saturday thru Tuesday (0.35″) and give it a 20-1 snow to precipitation ratio….that’s 7″ for G.R. There is some concern about flake size given the cold air…but if it snows for 48 hours at the rate of just 1/4″ per hour, that’s a foot of snowfall. It would settle down, so 12″ of snowfall might be 7″ of measured snow on the ground. Coastwatch still has the Lake Michigan water temperature around 40 degrees. With 0 degree air coming over the lake, that’s going to set up quite a contrast. Bottom line…the Arctic air is coming…we’re going to get shovelable/plowable snow – heaviest in NW flow lake bands and the areas that get the most snow it could be over a foot of snowfall. There will be periods of and areas of nasty driving (not all the time, just periods) between Saturday PM and Weds. AM.
Also: Grand Rapids is 6.7 degrees warmer than average so far this month…next week will cut into that, but it’ll be hard to knock that back close to average by the end of the month. High temperatures Tuesday: 39 Houston, 49 McAllen TX, 47 Tucson (4th day only in the 40s), 45 Las Vegas. The cold air has gone down into northern Mexico. The high/low at Chihuahua Weds. was 41/21. The average high is 68. Tampico has had 4 days this month that have failed to get above 60. El Paso is 6.7 deg. cooler than average for Jan., Las Vegas is down 7.1 deg. for the month and Tucson is 8.9 deg. colder than average for January. On the other hand, would you like to be in Miami, where every day this month has seen highs between 79 and 83?