Tuesday Snow

December 10th, 2013 at 1:50 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local   Tuesday PM Leave a comment if you have a snow measurement for us.  – 20-car pile-up on US 131 near 10 Mile Road.  I shoveled 4-5″ of snow out of my driveway before I left for work. (Alpine Twp.)  Heaviest snow along and just east of US 131.  New data shows axis of heavier snow tomorrow from NE Allegan Co. across N Barry Co…4-8 inches could fall if a heavier single band develops.  It still looks like a general 2-5″ snow for the weekend, more snow next Monday night.  I know it’s waaaaay early, but the GFS is showing a Christmas Eve snowstorm with snow and drifting snow here, at least several inches and travel problems for many in the NE quarter of the U.S.   Warmest temperature on the European is mid-upper 20s on Sunday.   Watch the news tonight for the latest. Roads snow-covered and slippery, esp. side streets and rural roads that have not been plowed yet.  Keep checking back here to look at radar and the links.  Flurries early tonight, then the snow starts ramping up before daybreak.

Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Check out Storm Total Rainfall (until they reset it). Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy, the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy, the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington, the weather station at Manistee Harbor and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agriculutural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations.  Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort, where they are pushing toward 2 feet of snow on the ground. Check out the cold temps. on the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s the morning run of the NAM forecast snow amounts.  Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge.

We’ll have to watch for ice jams on Michigan rivers as the cold air settles in next week. Here’s some river water temps. Also, many inland lakes will be icing up in the next 10 days. Beware of early thin ice.

If Philadelphia gets 4.4″ of snow today, they will have had more snow in 3 days than the last two winters combined!

465 Responses to “Tuesday Snow”

  1. Stacsh says:

    Grand haven sucks for lake effect. Ain’t got nothing here

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      You didn’t get any snow today? Interesting!

      1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        All lakeshore areas received little snow today with the strong winds. 1-131 received the most. That will be the case tomorrow, just further south.

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          I realized that the immediate lake shore received less snow, however I still thought they received 2 or 3 inches!

        2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          Rocky did you receive around 4-5 inches like southern GR and Bills location? It seems like Kent got the brunt o it today. Tomorrows sweet spot will be farther south though… maybe clipping south Kent. I have my doubts though. The NWS told me : “Nathan, that is a tricky part of tomorrow’s forecast. However, we kept Kent in the advisory for that reason. The thought is that we could still end up in the banding tomorrow, thus adding to the totals. Thanks for your report” I still have hope for more action and tracking :)

    2. John says:

      We had a couple inches here in Norton Shores but the wind blew it all around so it’s hard to tell any of it accumulated!

      1. Jesse (Zeeland) says:

        Same here. I measured 2.5 inches total but the winds were so strong that it made it all blow around. Hard to tell.

  2. Tyler (Escanaba) says:

    We got an inch overnight in Escanaba. We had 3 inches maybe two days ago so now we have 3-4 inches on the ground. We had 6 inches of snow a week ago tonight into last Wednesday then it changed to freezing rain then into a heavy downpour of rain. I have never seen it rain that hard in December ever! It melted majority of the 6 inches of snow we had. Now we have 4 inches of snow on the ground and this morning it was -4 in Escanaba and to the west of us in Iron MTN it was -10.

  3. Tyler (Escanaba) says:

    Houghton has been getting hammered up there with snow.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      And the area downwind from Lake Superior north of S. Ste. Marie has had incredible snowfall. They truly must be buried now…bright blue band off Lake Superior has been over the same area for days.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Looks good and there are a lot of ski resorts up there – both downhill and cross country. They must be ROCKING right about now!

        1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          How much snow, are we talking feet? Its all abut survival up there!

  4. Scott says:

    I’ve noticed a lot of people making comparisons that this winter is starting off like the winters of 1977 and 1978. Well, with records set in those years in some areas with temperatures being challenged by this morning’s temperatures, it’s difficult not to ignore the evidence that we may be heading down the same track.

    Does this mean that strong winter storms and blizzards are in the offing January and February? Bill would be the expert to ask in that department. Whatever it’s worth, it’s not a stretch to say this winter is starting off in a fashion that only happens perhaps once every few decades – at least that’s what it seems like to me.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Outside of the usual index values (NAO, AO, PNA, EPO, WPO, etc.) two things to focus on are the warm water that still sits in the Gulf of Mexico and SE Atlantic and the expansive snowpack, certainly one of the largest snowpacks I’ve ever seen this early. The PDO is in cool phase. Note that many inland lakes are already frozen/freezing up. Hudson Bay is over 80% frozen over already and Lake Nipigon just froze up.

      Now, the air that sits on that snow and ice is going to be cold (and in terms of physics “heavy”). It’ll want to expand if give the chance. During the day, the snow has a much higher “albedo” and reflects a higher portion of the sun’s light back up to space rather than using it to heat air. Snow radiates energy back to space (esp. at night when it’s clear) at a significantly faster rate than bare ground or unfrozen water. The sun is lowest in the sky in December and not much help. You can get warming through the “Chinook” downslope warming off the Rockies. This is often the source of the warm air of a “January thaw”. The combination of the warm water and cold air off the continent should spin up some good storms this winter (it’s technically still autumn). But with all that snow to our west and north…and east and south, I think the winter pattern that we are in is going to continue. It’s only a matter of time until we get a calm, clear night with fresh snow when we challenge a record low and see minus signs in front of our low temperatures.

  5. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Finally the GR airport recorded some snow at 3.4″ today, so far. Still on the low side compared to spotter reports around town.

    1. Ryan (Rockford) says:

      I responded to a similar post yesterday. It very frequently seems that Ford Airport has the least amount of snow and the warmest temps (although the latter is easily explainable via planes and urban heat island).

  6. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Looking like heavy lake effect tomorrow, lighter lake effect Thursday, system snow late Friday through Saturday, heavy lake effect Sunday, break Monday, system snow Tuesday, and lake effect next Wednesday. This could be a repeat of December 2008 if that pans out.

    1. Scott says:

      Travis, I was not in this immediate location December 2008. Can you educate on what happened?

      1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        Travis can get into detail, but 2008 was awesome! And the following summer was horrible with highs in the 40′s and rain. Hopefully that doesn’t occur again too. You should have seen Fixxxers reaction that summer :p

      2. John says:

        Scott that was my second year here, it was a very snowy winter, we got snowstorm after snowstorm, when one lake effect warning was canceled a watch immediately followed it for another snowstorm possibility! That was one winter where GR had over 100 inches of snow!

        1. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

          We had 140″ that year.

      3. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

        We were in a cold and snowy pattern. It basically snowed everyday with huge lake effect events. Some of the heaviest snows I’ve ever seen, we had a few snowfall rates of 4″ an hour from time to time. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I had roughly 50″ of snow in 2 weeks. I had 32″ of snow on my deck, and had over 2′ on the ground just before Christmas.

  7. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    So 18z would be about 13est, which would be 3PM. Sounds like southern GR will be receiving snowfall after all.

    1. John says:

      I think 18Z is actually around 1ish, it’s 01Z right now start counting upward from that until you hit 18Z tomorrow

      1. John says:

        I hate weather time it’s so confusing, don’t you wish they would just use regular times?

        1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          Haha, I know! Yea, I was thinking the snow would shift farther south around noonish, that is why I was kind of surprised and brought it up. Thanks for the correction, you are right! :)

        2. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

          I keep this bookmarked as a reference: http://www.theweatherprediction.com/basic/ztime/

        3. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          Wow ,thanks so much Lisa. That will be very helpful when forecasting approximate timing of the snowfall. These conversions can get kinda confusing.

      2. Bill Steffen says:

        18Z is 1 PM EST and 2 PM EDT.

  8. Tisha says:

    Grand Haven has been left out in this event

  9. kevin. w says:

    Tom Skillings was talking on wgn today about storms systems ramping up after the 20th with a possible phasing of Arctic and subtropical jets merging for a potential major blizzard between the 19th and 25th and was talking about the winter of ’77-’78 quite a bit.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Large-scale actually blizzards are really few and far between, but this year’s set-up is about as good as you could hope for.

      1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        Hey Bill you are sure active on the blog this evening. Do you have the shift off? Maybe you could give us some insider information on tomorrows event? :)

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          I’m doing both weather and answering comments. I’ve got about an hour and a half I can do that some nights between shows.

        2. Ryan (Rockford) says:

          We all know Bill loves cold and snow, and who can blame him? I think that’s why we’re all here tonight!

      2. John says:

        Bill you’re making me excited! :)

        1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

          Keep it in your pants!

      3. kevin. w says:

        Probably should clarify that Bill as a Major snowstorm but was talking quit a bit about an Alberta Clipper and a low over California forming around the 20th for a significant snowstorm.

    2. John says:

      So could we possibly have a major blizzard around that time?

  10. I hope the heavy lake effect ramps up around or shortly before 3sm or its to the books tomorrow at school!

      1. Paul (Yankee Springs-Barry State Game Area) says:

        That’s 08Z…

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Hard to pin down the timing on these events perfectly, but tomorrow’s looks to run just a little earlier than today’s. Maybe 6 or 7 am – noon or 1 pm as a best guess.

      1. That sucks! I likely wont get a snowday then :(

    2. John says:

      It looks to me like it will start in the southwestern counties between 3-4am and then for you Kyle I would say between 5-7am

      1. No snowday then :( roads wont be bad enough by that time

      2. No snowday then :( roads wont be bad enough by that time

        1. idk why it posted twice lol

      3. John says:

        It could still come earlier than what I think but that’s just my thinking so don’t get too disappointed yet, and if it’s snowing hard enough where you can’t see I would say you have a chance at a snow day!

  11. Jack says:

    **** Comment # 400 *******

  12. Hey bill when do you expect the heavier snowbands to kick into gear tonight?

  13. kevin. w says:


    1. Jesse (Zeeland) says:

      Did you get a PM from anyone about it? I am interested as well. Although 10 days out is probably setting us up for disappointment.

  14. Cort S. says:

    Hello Michiganders! I was going to say a few days ago, I think I had more lake-effect snow in Salt Lake City than you have had. But that’s changed. CPC outlooks show elevated chances of below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation for the Great Lakes region over the next 1-2 weeks. The European model shows a few systems moving through the area over the next 180 hours, with periods of lake-effect in between. Enjoy!

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:


    2. kevin. w says:

      So Cort was watching skillings on wgn today and was talking about a major storm system coming in the next 10 days for a possible big one. Was looking over some of the models with an active north branch and south branch it could be possible.

      1. Cort S. says:

        Looks like fun. Decembers have been quite a disappointment for the Grand Rapids CWA snow geeks the past few years. Looks like this year is shaking things up a bit.

    3. Jack says:

      Hey Cort, How’s UTAH treating Ya ?

      1. Cort S. says:

        Having a good time. The bottom dropped out on us last week. We went from 50s to teens for highs after a storm brought accumulating snowfall all the way down to the valley floors. Had another storm this weekend, and I got 6 inches of lake-enhanced snow Saturday night. Looks dry for the rest of the week, with slowly improving conditions. Ridging will build back in during the next week over the western US, making me warmer. You’ll stay cold in the downstream trough, with general NW flow supporting lake-effect.

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          Make sure you go down south to the national parks at some point.

        2. Cort S. says:

          I’ll definitely go there once spring arrives.

    4. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      Cort I have been waiting for this pattern for years! Im so happy!! My 16th Bday is on Friday :) This is all I really wanted.

        1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          Haha I know, so ironic :p That is really the only day off from snow we have until the weekend when more systems arrive. This winter beats last winter by a mile… or more like a lightyear! Im looking forward to the morning WNW snowfall. Im expecting about 3 inches here before the bands pivot southward.

      1. Cort S. says:

        There you go, a happy birthday present from the atmosphere!

      2. Mike (Mattawan) says:

        Well happy [early] birthday! Glad you LIKE the snow, otherwise this would be a disappointing birthday weather wise

        1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          Yea, Mother Nature has outdone herself this year for sure. Thanks!

    5. Yup (Grandville) says:

      When did you move Cort?

      1. Cort S. says:

        In October. I’ll come back to MI for vacation in May. Don’t know for sure which state I’ll be working in come next summer.

        1. Yup (Grandville) says:

          I’m behind the times over here! Glad you still stop in and pass your wisdom along ;)

  15. Mike (Mattawan) says:

    Well the moon is out here right now and it is illuminating all the passing clouds in a really cool way! It is also reflecting off the snow quite nicely. I can barely see a halo around the moon when clouds pass in front of it! If only my camera did well at night…

  16. Cort S. says:

    By the way, I am hearing of 40:1 snow/liquid ratios in Grand Rapids. Is the snow super fluffy today?

    1. Mike (Mattawan) says:

      Im in mattawan but yes, the snow in the entire area is really fluffy. Makes for bad visibility when driving behind another vehicle!

  17. Paul (Yankee Springs-Barry State Game Area) says:

    2.8″ snow here in the woods today….6″ on the ground.

  18. INDY says:

    Bill BIG Jackson school is on 19 mile between 131 and M37 one big farm one class school house and a out house that’s it looks creepy when u drive by I have been by there a lot going to my cottage!! Makes u wonder what really happens in there!!! lololo!!!! INDYY

  19. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    There will be very few schools closed in Kent County tomorrow.

  20. Derek (Mattawan) says:

    Received about 5 inches since Friday night here 3 Miles N of Mattawan. Very dry, fluffy snow.

    Happy Holidays to All!

  21. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    This could go down as one of the best weeks for COLD and SNOW for early to mid December in quite a while! Keep the COLD and SNOW rolling baby! We are just getting revved up!

  22. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Fox 17 only has about a half inch by morning near the lakeshore, and the highest total of 3.5″ for Holland by tomorrow afternoon. That may end up being right. The last two runs of the NAM haven’t showed as much snow…but hopefully the models are wrong.

    1. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

      Their forecast map last night showed everyone getting basically 1-3″ today. At 6PM, Rick Mecklenburg said 6-8″ for Allegan County even though it only showed about 3″ on his map. As WZZM 13 said last winter, don’t look at the totals for the lake effect snowfall maps, just look at where the models are printing out the most snow.

  23. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Here is the updated impact post from the GRR NWS.


    Also, Channel 17 reported 6″ of new snow in Allegan…I don’t see how that was possible, but I hope it was true for snowmobiling purposes.

  24. Not looking like the LE will get revved up until mid morning again. At least from what Fox 17 has. Fox 17 says it will get revved up later night but then another second later they say fairly quiet in the morning???? which one rick meklenburg?? I dont think they know what they are even talking about as expected with there news station. News 8 is way better

    1. John says:

      I think 4-7 am is the main time frame when the lake effect will get going!

      1. Then why dont they say that! Rick Meklenburg is very irritating because he changes what he says every newscast. One moment he says heavy snow by 5am and then another moment its quiet in the morning. He needs his forecast straight

        1. Ohh and btw I am revieving heavy snow right now. Just a narrow band moving through

        2. John says:

          Why don’t you tell Fox 17 that then ;)

        3. Jack says:

          Stay With BILL & His Best,and, Forget The Rest !!! Storm Team 8 = Facts not Fiction !!!! Stay CUED…. ;-)

        4. Still getting heavy snow! haha

  25. The disturbance that will enhance the LE looks to be building further east. Taking the leading edge it would be 3-4 hours. so 2:30 3am it could get going? idk if im looking at the right spot though

  26. Tyler (Escanaba) says:

    Hey Bill are we going to see some brutal cold weather and snowstorms into January this year?

  27. Scott says:

    If you scroll up to this post

    December 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Bill gives an excellent answer to this question. I hope that it helps!

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