Snow and Cold is Coming!

January 16th, 2013 at 4:35 am by 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?

117 Responses to “Snow and Cold is Coming!”

  1. Bill Steffen says:

    First! Had to do it just once. Thought I share what Joe Bastardi says about what’s coming: “The wide open Great Lakes are ripe for what could be a fantastic series of lake-effect outbreak events over the coming 10 days. The Sunday/Monday event looks bigger and the strongest one in the next 3 would come after that. We have lakes without ice, and we may have air as low as -20 to 25C coming over them. There is liable to be bands where snow is measured in multiple feet in these outbreaks…”

    Joe spends more time thinking about the East Coast area…and I’m sure downwind from Lake Ontario in the higher elevations they are going to get nailed big time. If by some chance we can set up a feeder band from Lake Superior over Lake Michigan and into the higher elevations around Lake City/Kalkaska/Mancelona…there could be some very heavy snow…same if there is a single, persistent heavy band at the southeast end of the lake (my comment about buryin’ Berrien). Stay tuned for forecast updates on this.

    1. Ned S. (Now in South Holland) says:

      So I may get to use that brand new snowblower that I bought in November? I live where I-196 goes into Allegan County from Ottawa County. I guess it will depend on the wind direction as to how much snow we receive here.

    2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Not to put Joe Bastardi down but has he not said almost the same thing several times already this winter. While he may be right this time it should be noted that even Rocky, Indy and yes even fixxer have at times been right this winter. LOL

    3. fixxxer says:

      i don’t know why anyone listens to joe.b except mike.

  2. Skot says:

    HAHAHAhahah!!! Great one All Mighty Mr.S

    1. Skot says:

      Starting to remind me of January of 96. I believe ares in the Northern Lower reached 10 to 20 below.

  3. Mark (East Lansing) says:


    Your thoughts, please.

  4. Pauline says:

    So…which areas are “favorable” for the lake effet snow bands when the wind is north-northwest to northwest?

  5. Michael (Berrien county) says:

    Sounds awesome Bill, unfortunately you might want to tell the NWS in northern IN about this, since they continue to downplay it, insisting that it will only be very light snow, thanx to dry air, low inversion heights, & unfavorable fetch. Must be some fair weather fans I guess.

    1. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

      300-310 degree wind is not optimal down there. For Northern IN to get hit, they need the winds to go more NNW. If the wind direction is 300-310, that can cover more areas with snow, but may mean no huge snow dumps for any one location. It will depend on how strong the winds are as well.

    2. Irish coffee says:

      They(NWS IWX) are just playing conservative at this point…they will slowly ‘AMP’ up snow chances w/ time as impulses/wind dir. show up consistently on models(certainly by late Fri/Sat)In Berrien, you can do quite well w/ wind dir. of =>315degrees.The biggest LES i witnessed living on Tug Hill,NY was ~39″/24 hr.(Dec ’95)I overheated my ’71 Toyota Landcruiser plow truck trying to move it!!<ended up having to have the wife shovel!(ok, but she did HELP…for 15 min.';)Figures, the next year, my neighbor, who spotted for NWS BUF, measured 77"/24hrs.2 days after i measured ~40" JAN 10TH '97 in EPIC LES event.Snow scientists from CO. visited his house(spitting distance from where we lived) to verify his meas. & while they determined it was most likely accurate, they wouldn't deem it world's greatest 24 hr snfl(record holder SilverLake CO w/ 76"/24hr) due to #of measurements he took <every 4hrs. vs official, once max. every 6hrs).Long story short, they published a journal article(i still have and will share sometime at a Bill's Blog get-together @ BDBC' house?:)

      1. Irish coffee says:

        ps- the ~40″ i received was 2 N Breedsville(Van Buren, cty) fwiw…… also, a couple of news outlets/media wanted to interview my old Tug neighbor/friend-who also, btw brainwashed HIS wife to move there from CT!- but he was a reclusive HERMIT to say the least and wanted absolutely nothing to do w/ publicity of any sort….

        1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

          LOL… I want to live in the Tughill or up in the U.P. I am trying to talk my wife into it, but she can not be brainwashed… :P

          Eventually we will own a bed and breakfast in one of these areas. :)

      2. Michael (Berrien county) says:

        @ Jim…. yes I agree with your point, but by the way their discussion sounded, they made it seem like we would have almost no accumulation. With the northwest flow & such cold air in place though, I would have to think that at least advisory level amounts (3-6 inches) would be in order for us. @ Irish coffee, yes I think they will eventually amp up our amounts, & yes I do remember hearing about some of those insane lake effect events in Buffalo, NY. I think in 2001, Buffalo had like 84 inches or something in 2 days, if I remember correctly. Also we had probably our greatest ever lake effect event 2 yrs ago in Jan, 2011. It was quite memorable for me, considering my daughter was born at the South Bend hospital during this event. South Bend recorded 36.7 inches in a few days, and we had pretty close to that much here in southern Berrien, just 15 miles northwest of South Bend.

  6. INDY says:

    Verry Heavy lk snow coming with verry cold air we are going to double are snowfall this winter next week and cut the season snow drought in half or more starts today and snow showers for the next 8 days in a roll with lots of snow adv. watches and drifts coming welcome back to good old West Michigan winter!!! Burrrrr stay tuned stay warm ……INDYY….

    1. INDY says:

      Bloogers get the sprites ready……INDYY..

      1. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:


  7. Storm waning says:

    Finally! Not “might, or could, we’ll have to see, or chance, or possible, etc” but this…..

    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.

    Now that’s a “guts” forecast!

    A good solid call forecast, either warm or cold is ALWAYS better than wishey washy

    Thanks Bill!

  8. michael g (SE GR) says:


  9. INDY says:

    Yeaa Michael it’s hard for Fizzer 33 to understand facts on whats coming!! COLD AIR AND LOTS OF SNOW… Last time I checked it’s is winter in Michigan !!! get your snow shovels ready!!!! BOTTOM LINE DUDE!! lolololo ….INDYY..

  10. Yup (Grandville) says:

    Well, I’ll see how it is when I get off the plane from Miami on Sunday evening. I’m still skeptical about anything these days :)

  11. INDY says:


    1. fixxxer says:

      you mean the same one you guys have been talking about for 2 years now? …just saying! ;)

      1. Yup (Grandville) says:


        I’m in your camp, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  12. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    Going to get close to 40 this weekend here, and then 3 or 4 days of cold. I guess that’s as much winter as we get this year.

    Outbreaks of this intensity are commonplace and happen almost every winter with many being colder and longer than this one. Guess I’m not buying what the hypers have been trying to sell for the past couple weeks.

    At least it will be a colder and more active pattern for the winter lovers! And I’m excited for some actual winter sports.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Yes, for some reason it seems like almost ever winter it gets cold and sometimes snowy for a week or so.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        ROFL!! I’ll take that snowy week, thanks :-)

  13. Jeff(Northern Ionia County / Muir) says:

    Love seeing this in the forecast although im not sure how much Ionia is going to pick up. Anyone have any ideas on how much i can expect around Ionia County? Thanks Jeff

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Anywhere from a trace to several inches…take your pick!

      1. fixxxer says:

        or none.

    2. INDY says:


    3. Jeff(Northern Ionia County / Muir) says:

      I like INDY’s prediction, of 15- 20 inches but i doubt it. Really hoping for atleast a few good inches!!

      1. chuckles says:

        That’s what she said.

  14. Paul Phenix says:

    I bet Alma doesn’t see an inch, very disappointed!

  15. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    While it looks to get much colder then what it has been, its not going to be unusually cold. The only this is its been so mild the last two winters it will feel much colder then it is. (if it gets as cold a projected) Now on to the potential snow fall. That is a much harder issue to handle. There is so much that goes into a lake event snowfall that at this time its almost impossible to forecast how much not alone where. My guess at this time is that for GR most of the snow could fall late in the day on Sunday and after that it could be too windy and or too cold then while it may be snowing it could be small fake size and not a whole lot of accumulation. No matter what it been a long time without driving on ice and snow so everyone try to be careful while driving for now it will be time for the auto body shops to make their money

    1. fixxxer says:

      im seeing plenty of upper 30′s coming right into feb if it turns out correct. face it guys after next month in my mind winter is about done.

  16. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    INDY!!!!! Are you ready!?!?!?!?!?

    The first hit, albeit small, is looking decent over in Wisconsin right now!

  17. Storm waning says:

    How much for the metro gr area by tue am? Guesses?

  18. INDY says:

    Ohhhh Matt INDY has the BIG daddy hat on today 10 days of blowing rolling and smokeing snow coming THE BEST IS YET TO COME!! BILL’S BLOGG I CAN’T HEAR U!!!! ARE U READY??? INDYY…

  19. Stephen (North Muskegon says:

    Well I do love the snow I’m just really hoping nothing starts until Monday night when I’m home from surgery..

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      I doubt it will wait. I hope your surgery goes well.

  20. Jerry hoag says:

    Wahooooooooo, I am ready for some decent snow fall and big flakes falling from the sky!! And when I can walk my dog and when she pees it willl freeze up against the fire hydrant! LOL….. Naw I won’t let that happen to my dog. But enjoy everyone. Get ready INDY with those sprites!!

  21. Dan says:

    Here comes our Winter! Temps are going to get cold from Sunday into early next week. It is going to be our coldest air of the season. Does this cold air hang on for the remainder of the Winter? Does it also get the snow conveyor belt going with Lake Effect event after Lake event? Sounds like, Bill is thinking that MAY happen.

  22. Mindy ( Mason MI ) says:

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ….I would be suprised if i got a dusting in my area!!

  23. INDY says:

    Jerry hoagan INDY has a list with a twist on it 3 dozen eggs 4 pds of baccon and a keg of sprite for this winter storm we call white right coming!!! INDYY..

  24. INDY says:


    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      I am SOOOOOOOOO ready!!!

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        HAHA!! I TOLD you guys it would snow once my sister arrived….LOL!! She’s here after an epic 48-hr non-stop drive from CA….. one of the first things she noticed at her new house is the shovel I bought her :-)

    2. Scott (west olive) says:

      I’m not getting excited until you use your snownado reference then we’ll know it’s real. Lol

      1. fixxxer says:

        theres nothing to get excited about. gr if anything will get a dusting.

        1. INDY says:

          What 40′s u see!! lololololololo …INDYY…

        2. fixxxer says:

          what massive cold air and snow do you see indy?

  25. Lynda McCann says:

    Which lakeshore towns get the NW flow lake snow?

  26. millekat says:

    Ok, let’s not get too excited until it happens. It seems like we get so hyped up and then it’s a bust….so let’s try the opposite and see what happens!




  28. Nick (Grand Haven / West Olive) says:

    looks like snow is coming down the lake earlier then they thought

  29. INDY says:

    Not only will this kill the flu bug going around the artic a frezz coming Fizzer should stay off the blog becosue this is all about winter and snow cold he don’t like that !!! turn the heat up ….INDYY….

    1. Rumrunner says:

      That has you excited? LOL

  30. INDY says:


  31. haanstar says:

    I will believe it when I see it, I have been waiting to plan a northern snowmobile trip but wont commit to it unless I see snow on the snowcams and my own backyard.

    Some are hyping this up and other experts are not. We shall see

  32. INDY says:


  33. Jerry hoag says:

    INDY yes ready and awaiting for it all!! And maybe with this change in weather pattern this spring and early summer will bring big, very big thunderstorms!!! Squalls, derchos, etc…………WAHOOOOOOOOOOOO INDY!! Sprites keg ready!

  34. fixxxer says:

    i guess it’s too much to ask to just have one week of sun and no wind and clouds. i swear i hate winter with a passion.

    1. Ben (Charlotte) says:

      Might have to get out of West Michigan. Nice, bright, and sunny here in Mid Michigan as we speak. I am originally from the west side of the state, and I have noticed that the sun is out a little more in mid Michigan in the winter. I miss the lake effect snow, but the extra sunshine is nice!

      1. fixxxer says:

        i agree as i grew up in the detroit area and we usually had alot of sun. i think being close to the lake here causes this wind and constant cloudiness. if we moved it would be somewhere far from michigan in general.

  35. Ullr says:

    Do not despair doubting mortals. I promised you that snow would start on the 16th day of this month and I’ll keep my promise.


    1. fixxxer says:

      oh yeah? just like the world was suppose to end last month?

      1. Ullr says:


        That was the Mayan god Ah Uuc Ticab. He is a distant cousin and has no credibility in the family.


        1. millekat says:

          Hilarious!!! Lol!!! :-) :-)

          Best quote of the day. :-)

  36. Nathan says:

    Will Grand Rapids get a lot of snow?

    1. fixxxer says:

      no Nathan.

  37. Stacsh says:

    Looks like no snow Gr today. Radar dried up quick.

  38. Jack says:

    CUE: Kate Bush Hounds of Love – YouTube
    ► 3:03► 3:03
    Jan 6, 2010 – Uploaded by FallingDown08
    From her 1985 album Hounds of Love Lyrics: “It’s in the trees! It’s coming! … Kate Bush …

  39. Todd In Nunica says:

    the berwestmichigan triangle is in full effect today (smashes head into desk…lol) I have not seen a flake out my window…..radar doing the “hide the snow” trick again….If I did not rely on snow to make money I would have to laugh about it.

  40. Kevin(Rockford) says:

    Bubble working overtime

    Down with the bubble!

  41. Storm waning says:

    As taken from the WOOD forecast….

    Areas that see significant lake-effect snowfall when the winds are north-northwest to northwest could see 6-12″ accumulation early next week, with lighter amounts as you move east away from the lake.

    I get a feeling GR is not any where near these areas. Or am I wrong?

    1. fixxxer says:

      wood should learn to stop hyping things up that won’t even happen for a week out. 9x out of 10 they will be wrong but they continue to do it.

      1. Craig (Holland North Sider) says:

        News media outlets would rather be first than right. On the occasion they are right they can quietly give out a “told you so”. When they are wrong then they just blend in with all the others who were wrong. In the immortal words of Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, you’re last”

    2. Todd In Nunica says:

      in the forcast last night Bill said even GR could see “several inches” over that time frame……NNW winds do not favor spring lake/grand haven area a lot of the times, nw or wnw seem to be good…..but if its more north than west only those south of holland will get blasted, ill take whatever I can get. At least air temps will be cold enough for it NOT to all melt as it comes down.

  42. Craig (Holland North Sider) says:

    Hopefully Holland will be smack dab in the middle of the LES event. I will admit I have slightly enjoyed the mild winter so far but I think I am ready for a good snow event to brighten things up. Plus the blog is much more exciting to read as an event like this gets closer. Lets just hope everyone out there remembers how to drive in it!

    1. fixxxer says:

      how exactly does snow brighten anything up?

      1. Craig (Holland North Sider) says:

        Snow is white, brown is not? Not everyone despises that white stuff like you do. You have to remember that sometimes…

        1. fixxxer says:

          you do know snow ends up turning into black piles of crap everywhere. not to mention the endless salt damage that happens to your cars. ;)

  43. arcturus says:

    I see the perfect scenario coming together for some weather forum testiness … unbridled hope after a dismal winter only to be quashed by another miss. Going to get the popcorn.

    1. suehelen says:


  44. Katie in Kentwood says:

    I am excited, I really hope we get dumped with snow. We need it BAD

  45. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    37 and mostly sunny here… loving today! Still no big snow storms anywhere to be found. Guess lake effect will have to do for those in the right spots.

  46. INDY says:

    Yupp we will double are snowfall starting today by this time next week West Michigan will have 20-25 inches on the ground!!!!! GET READY FOR WINTER!!! INDYY….

    1. How do you double it when it is not snowing.

  47. Well this snow fizzed out, so looks like our chances for next week will to. It is going to be a cold dry air mass and north to north west wind and trunning to north north east. Sorry for being so Negative but thats been the case this winter.

  48. INDY says:

    After the the aritc air blows past winds will be roarrring out of the west giving west Michigan feets of snow get ready now dont let fizzer’s 33 and highs in his see’s of 40 degrees warm u!!!! FACTS SNOW AND COLD IS COMING PATTERN CHANGE COLDER THE 2009 BURRRRRR SPRITES ALL NIGHT …STAY TUNEDD INDYY…

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