Some business owners on the lakeshore are ready for snow to start falling. They say it's what drives customers in their doors. If the temperature was 12-degrees colder on Thursday, the light rain that fell in Muskegon County on the first day of December would have been snow.
The temperature needs to be colder for the warm water in Lake Michigan to be sucked up into the sky and return to the ground as lake effect snow. The weather is allowing members of the Muskegon County Road Commission to continue smoothing gravel roads, instead of plowing. "We are trying to get them into decent shape before the snow flies," said Eric Scott, Maintenance Superintendent at the Muskegon County Road Commission. Scott says 45-snow plows are ready when snow does arrive.
At the Northern Edge Ski and Snowboard shop in Muskegon technician Wyss Wikman is looking out his shop window and dreams of snow. The kind of deep snow that brings customers into the shop. "We will get a huge rush once Caberfae, Crystal, and everybody gets open," said Wikman.
Store owner Wendi Horton hopes for a blizzard. She says that's the kind of weather that gets customers into the store. "Until they actually see the snow they are not thinking about it," said Horton. At the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex Jim Rudicil checked the thermometer Thursday. Still too warm for his liking. "We need that cold burst first, tighten up the ground and then snow on top of that," said Rudicil, the park's executive director.
Each December the park receives calls from people asking when the luge, ski trails, and ice rinks will open. Workers hope everything is available from Christmas break into March. "We are optimistic this is going to be our year out here," said Rudicil.
Whitehall and Montague the communities are ready to celebrate. Santa Claus arrives around two o'clock Saturday at the tail end of the 64th annual White Lake Area Christmas Parade. The event happens every year no matter the weather conditions. "We have had a little bit of everything, snow, rain, sun, wind, you name it," said Amy VanLoon. Executive Director White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Both Montague and Whitehall remain busy even during the winter season. "If the lake freezes over we get some ice fishing, so it adds to the outdoor recreation when we do have snow," said VanLoon.
Weather forecasts for Muskegon County call for colder weather and measurable snow late next week.