GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It may be springtime and near the end of March, but Old Man Winter hasn’t received the memo! Yet another messy system will spread over West Michigan as the weekend kicks off.
Location will be key with this incoming storm system as a wide range of precipitation – snow, rain and a wintry mix – is expected overnight Friday into Saturday.
A dynamic low-pressure system will arrive from the southeast Friday night, tracking toward southern lower Michigan by daybreak Saturday. The system will continue northeast toward Lake Huron over the course of Saturday.
The anticipated track puts West Michigan in a favorable position for impactful weather. Along with the various types of precipitation, strong winds will further the messy weather.
Precipitation will arrive throughout the early hours of Saturday, becoming widespread by daybreak. Throughout the morning hours, there’ll be various types of precipitation, including snow, rain and a wintry mix.
Snow is likely north and west of Kent County, with the highest amounts towards US-10 (Ludington, Baldwin, Hart and surrounding areas). The snow will be the wet, heavy variety. While some freezing rain may mix in, snow is expected to be the prominent precipitation type.
A wintry mix is expected near the I-96 corridor, extending both a little northward and southward. Starting off as a mixture of snow and freezing rain, a slushy accumulation and/or glaze of ice is expected. As the morning progresses, the rain will mix in, especially southward of I-96. This will limit impacts, but a slushy morning is anticipated.
Further southward toward I-94, rain will be the prominent precipitation type. There may be a brief wintry mix, but a quick switchover to rain will negate any impacts.
Precipitation will continue throughout the afternoon, with the storm system gradually peeling out by early evening/sunset.
As the system exits the second half of the day, cooler air will be drawn into West Michigan. Any wintry mix and/or rain in the morning will switch over to snow by early afternoon. Snow will continue throughout the afternoon before drier weather arrives by the end of the day.
The highest snowfall amounts will be near US-10, with 6”+ expected. The highest-end totals will extend further north into northern Lower Michigan. Slightly southward, locations between M-20 and M-46 – Whitehall, Fremont, Stanwood and surrounding areas – with 3”+ and a glaze of ice anticipated. Impacts will be greatest where precipitation remains snow throughout the day, with hazardous travel possible.
Near I-96, snow accumulation of 1”+ and a glaze of ice is expected. Impacts will be negated somewhat as a switchover to rain is expected at some point in the morning. However, slushy roads are possibly brief, especially near daybreak and again toward sunset.
Strong winds are expected throughout Saturday, with sustained winds of 20-30 mph and gusts of 30-40+ mph. The direction of the wind will start off out of the east-northeast, before turning westerly by the end of the day.
END OF WEEKEND
The silver lining of this messy forecast is that a quiet, seasonable Sunday is in the forecast. Sunshine will become the rule of thumb, along with temperatures rebounding well into the 40s. This will melt away much of the snow that does accumulate, even in the hardest-hit spots towards US-10.
Tranquil weather will prevail throughout the first half of next week.
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