Winter Storm Warning/AdvisoryJanuary 4th, 2014 at 3:50 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
10:51 am update from GRR NWS lead forecaster: ” I AM SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING EXPANDING THE WINTER STORM WARNING AT LEAST ONE ROW OF COUNTIES FARTHER NORTH WITH THE AFTERNOON FORECAST UPDATE. SEEMS TO ME THE MODEL CONSENSUS IS CONVERGING ON A SOLUTION BETWEEN THE NAM AND THE GFS PUTTING THE HEAVIER PRECIPITATION TONIGHT NEAR AND JUST SOUTH OF A LINE FROM NEAR GRAND HAVEN TO GRAND RAPIDS TO ALMA. THE RAP 13Z AND NAM12 SHOW A BAND OF .2 TO .4 QPF BY 12Z SUNDAY FROM ALONG THAT LINE…AS DOES THE 12Z GFS. THIS SNOW BAND IS FGEN RELATED AND IS A REFLECTION OF WHERE THE FRONT IS BETWEEN 850 AND 700 MB. WHICH TO ME SUGGESTS HEAVY SNOW IS MORE THAN LIKELY ONE ROW OF COUNTIES FATHER NORTH IN THE SHORT TERM. FOR NOW THOUGH I PLAN ON LEAVING HEADLINES AS THEY ARE SINCE THE GFS IS STILL WELL SOUTH OF THE NAM FOR SUNDAY AFTERNOON INTO SUNDAY NIGHT ON THE STORM QPF.”
The GRR NWS has upgraded the Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning for 6-10″ of snow. The Warning includes these counties: Barry, Eaton, Ingham, Clinton, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun and Jackson. Counties in SE Michigan and the counties along the Indiana border into N. Indiana and NW Ohio will likely also be added. The Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from 7 PM today to 1 AM Monday. A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect for Ottawa, Kent, Allegan, Gratiot, Ionia and Montcalm Counties from 4 PM today until 1 AM Monday for 3-6″ of snow. Winds will increase Sunday PM/night and that will cause drifting snow. The snow won’t quit when the Advisory/Warning ends – we’ll transition to lake-effect with the coldest air Monday PM/Night. The high temperature on Monday will occur at 12:01 am and the high temperature on Tuesday will occur at 11:59 PM with the coldest readings around -5 Monday evening. The European model would give G.R. about 4″ of snow by mid-morning Sunday and it just snows more on than off to Thurs. AM. Total precip. on the Euro. for G.R. is 0.68″ thru Thurs., which at even 20-1 water to snow would give us about 14″ total. That’ll settle some, but the wind could easily blow that into 2-3 foot drifts. The NAM (caribou) snowfall totals are: 7.6″ thru Sun. evening and another 1.2″ Monday, Lansing 7.4″ then 0.9″, Jackson 8.5″ then 0.7″. Other totals from the NAM out to 84 hours: Holland 13.9″, S. Haven 13.6″, Muskegon 11.3″, Ludington 10.5″, Mt. Pleasant 9.2″, Kalamazoo 9.2″, Big Rapids 8″ and Cadillac 6.9″. The RPM is similar with a lot of snow from S. Ottawa to Van Buren Co. I’ll update again around midday.
Some things to think about…you might want to fill-up at the gas pump…you probably won’t want to do that Monday or Tuesday. Sat. AM/Midday should be dry in most areas, so this would be a good time to get the shopping down and stock up on supplies. Make sure fire hydrants are clear of snow…observe odd/even parking if your city does that…keep pets indoors on the coldest days and make sure they have adequate food and (unfrozen) water…keep the bird feeders full. The birds are going to have a more difficult time with the cold, the wind, the snow and all the snow on the ground…and check on your neighbors and friends and make sure they’re OK.
Also, the cool air got to Florida…the afternoon high was just 49 at Orlando and Daytona Beach. Mobile struggled to 43. Other highs Friday: 17 Indianapolis, 18 Philadelphia and Cincinnati, 16 Pittsburgh, 15 Cleveland, 14 Boston, 5 Albany, 0 Watertown NY, -8 Caribou ME. On the mild side: 62 Denver, 76 Tucson, 71 Ukiah CA, 52 Helena MT.
To repeat what I said on TV – I do expect quite a few schools will be closed on Monday and probably Tuesday as well. The governor of Minnesota has cancelled school for Monday already for the entire state and Milwaukee has closed their schools for Monday. Governor Walker is thinking about closing all schools on Monday in Wisconsin. People have asked if our governor would do that. First, even though it’ll be REALLY cold here…it’ll be 5-10 degrees warmer than Wisconsin and Minnesota. Second, Michigan is a big state going from Monroe and Detroit to Ironwood. From Ironwood to the SE tip of Michigan is 625 miles if you’re driving and about 460 miles in a straight line. It’s not often that you’d have conditions that would warrant closing all schools over such a large area. Even within a smaller area, conditions and plowing may be acceptable for schools to open in East Grand Rapids, but not in Sparta where there may be more drifting out in the country. I’ll update around midday. Enjoy your weekend.