Mild December days disappear as winter develops

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - With highs in the 50s and lots of sunshine, the first few days of December have felt like a dream to West Michigan, but winter is arriving Tuesday.

A strong cold front swept through West Michigan Monday night, bringing drastic temperature changes in its wake. Blustery west winds will usher in arctic air, causing Tuesday's temperatures to fall to freezing by the end of the day.

Winds will be gusty as this storm system moves through. Wind gusts will be 40 mph or higher through Tuesday. 

Long-term temperatures will feature sub-freezing highs. 

The cold air will be enough to set up lake-effect snow showers starting Wednesday. These snow showers will likely be light through the week, leading to minor accumulations.

Reinforcing shots of arctic air through the extended forecast keep lake-effect snow showers around.

Unseasonably cold air remains locked in the Great Lakes through the middle of December. 

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Laura Hartman is a meteorologist at WZZM 13. You can contact her by email at lhartman@wzzm13.com, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter

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