Winter Weather AdvisoryApril 2nd, 2014 at 7:24 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Eaton and Ingham Counties north to US 10. The Advisory will be in effect from 5 am to 6 pm Thursday for MASON-OCEANA-MUSKEGON-MONTCALM-GRATIOT-OTTAWA-KENT-IONIA-CLINTON- EATON- and INGHAM Counties and from 8 am Thursday to Noon on Friday for LAKE-OSCEOLA-CLARE-NEWAYGO-MECOSTA-and ISABELLA Counties. The Advisory is for * FREEZING RAIN DEVELOPING DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS THURSDAY. * A TENTH TO QUARTER OF AN INCH OF FREEZING RAIN THURSDAY. IMPACTS… * HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS DUE TO ICY ROADS THURSDAY. * ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES THURSDAY DUE TO ICE ACCUMULATION AND BREEZY CONDITIONS. For the 2nd set of counties (Lake to Isabella) the Advisory also mentions the possibility of wet snow and sleet at the start, which may accumulate an inch or two. The storm will also impact areas north and east of the Advisory Area. Here’s the Forecast Discussions for West Michigan, Northern Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. NWS also mentions the chance of a thunderstorm over S. Lower Michigan Thurs. night. The precipitation may end with a short period of light snow Friday night into Saturday AM.
Then we’ll get another storm on Monday, and this one doesn’t look good either. GRR NWS says: “THE OTHER ISSUE IS THE SYSTEM IN THE MONDAY TIME FRAME. THIS COULD BE A PROBLEM FOR US AS IT IS A SOUTHERN STREAM SYSTEM WITH A LOT OF GULF MOISTURE TO PLAY WITH AND THIS TIME WE ARE SOLIDLY IN THE COLD AIR. IT ALSO GOES NEGATIVE TILT AT UPPER LEVELS ASSURING A STRONG SURFACE SYSTEM. THE PROBLEM FOR SNOW FOR US FROM THIS SYSTEM IS THAT THIS IS A SYSTEM ON THE SOUTHERN STREAM AND IT DOES NOT HAVE COLD ENOUGH AIR FOR SNOW AS IT HEADS TOWARD MICHIGAN. HOWEVER ONCE IT DOES GET HERE… THE COMBINATION OF DYNAMICS…WET BULB COOLING AND TAPPING THE COLDER AIR TO THE NORTH MAY BE ENOUGH TO BRING HEAVY WET SNOW TO PARTS OF THE AREA MONDAY AFTERNOON INTO MONDAY NIGHT. WE WILL HAVE TO WATCH THIS CLOSELY. EVEN IF WE DO NOT GET THE SNOW FROM THIS STORM IT MAY WELL BE A 1-INCH PLUS RAINFALL EVENT. GIVEN HOW HIGH OUR RIVERS ARE NOW… THAT WOULD ONLY ADD TO FLOODING ISSUES.” This system could be a significant snow producer for Northern Lower Michigan, which would add to the snow cover there and that would mean we’d have a longer time for cold surface air to come off the snow with a northwest to north-northeast wind…not looking like a warm early-mid April and probably beyond. The Marquette NWS says: “THERE WILL BE A FREEZING RAIN…SLEET…RAIN AND SNOW MIX OVER THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE CWA. THE NORTH HALF WILL SEE SNOW AND THIS COULD RANGE FROM 9 TO 15 INCHES OF SNOW AND THE SOUTH HALF COULD SEE UP TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW AND 0.20 INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION.”
Also, 2nd straight year that we’ve started the year with a very low tornado count (due to the cold air), but we’ll get back to at least average with the contrast of the warming air to the south and the cold air over the cold Great Lakes from now thru early summer. We’ll have a few severe weather days here, but the threat looks a little more substantial over the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys west into Missouri and Arkansas. Joscha makes a good point here.
Graphics from the National Weather Service – Click on the images to enlarge.