Dig out day in West Michigan after round 2 of snow

Snow covers a West Michigan bridge (left photo, ReportIt) and a potting shed in Jenison. (Right photo, Dennis Wagner/ReportIt)

Most school districts have cancelled classes for this Monday — including Grand Rapids Public, Kalamazoo Public, Battle Creek Public, Muskegon Public and Holland Public.  When East Grand Rapids closes, pretty much everyone is closing.  Check out school closing list to make sure your school is on it.  We’ll have a complete report on road conditions, closings and a fresh forecast on DAYBREAK and on 24 HOUR NEWS 8 at NOON.

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Here’s a look at some snowfall totals: This was the snow totals just with Sundays’ storm system.Just about every one in Southwest Michigan receive 5-10 inches of snow. Two day totals with Saturday’s lake effect are close to 20 inches in Jenison south


Snow totals for major cities in West Michigan
Snow totals for major cities in West Michigan


It’s remarkable  that we didn’t have a record setting snow yesterday considering it was the snowiest day in over two years dating back to November 18th 2014. The 8.9″ of snow we received yesterday in Grand Rapids would have set a record on 26 other December days. We have received more than ten times the amount of snow this December than in December 2015 (2.5″). There’s more to come. So far for this season we’ve received a little over two feet of snow. It took until January 26th of last winter to eclipse that!

Snowy pattern has arrived
Snowy pattern has arrived

Here’s a look at how much snow there is on the ground: Just about everyone in West Michigan has at least a half foot of snow on the ground and most have more after receiving ten to as much as twenty inches of snow this weekend. If you look where the purple is around Jenison, Grandville, Martin, Allegan, Plainwell and Kalamazoo those are the locations that received 20 inches of snow this past weekend when you combine the lake effect Saturday and the system snow Sunday.


Snow lovers rejoice!
Snow lovers rejoice!

Travis reports 34″ of snowfall in Martin (eastern Allegan Co.).  He measured 14″ of snow on the ground and 20″ of snow on his deck:


A blast of air straight out of the Arctic will spin into the Great Lakes starting Tuesday afternoon, dropping highs to the teens for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday along with near or below zero wind chills.  This is a forecast from one computer model of the low temperatures Friday morning:


The model gives Grand Rapids a low temp. of 8 below zero!  To get that cold, we’d have to have clear skies and calm winds.  Note the much warmer (that’s relatively warmer!) temperatures at Lake Michigan.  But, look at the below zero temperatures for much of Wisconsin northern Illinois and northern Indiana.

610temp-newThis is the 6-10 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.  Wow!  Look at all that blue color!  Looks like colder than average weather continues for much of the country.


There were reports of slide-offs and at least one rollover on West Michigan roads Sunday, but no reports of serious injuries.

I-94, Marengo Township, jackknifed semi
The scene on I-94 in Marengo Township after a pickup and semi collided, causing the semi to jackknife. (Dec. 11, 2016)

Around 11:30 a.m., according to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, a pickup truck on eastbound I-94 at 20 Mile Road in Marengo Township lost control and struck the front of a semi-truck it was passing. Both the pickup and semi slid into the ditch and the semi jackknifed, causing a partial lane closure. The highway was completely closed for a short time as the pickup and trailer were pulled from the ditch. No one was hurt. Authorities say icy roads and blowing snow were contributing factors. Additionally, the pickup driver was cited for violating the basic speed law.

Northland Drive, Belding Drive, rollover crash
A rollover on Northland Drive south of Belding Road on Dec. 11, 2016.

Sunday evening, highway traffic was moving slower than normal, but there weren’t any complete closures as a result of the snow.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Traffic conditions

Jerry Byrne with the Kent County Road Commission said that starting at 4 a.m., there will be 60 plow crews out clearing the roads. The crews will hit areas like West River Drive, 10 Mile Road, and 68th Street to plow and lay down more material.

About 30 more crews will head out on the roads around 6 a.m. Byrne said he expects they will still be cleaning up and checking for refreezing conditions on the state roads at that time.

After they hit the state roads, the plan is to start on local roads, subdivisions and gravel roads by late Monday morning.

US-131 and Hall Street
US-131 near Hall Street in Grand Rapids on the night of Dec. 11, 2016.

Byrne said that as long it keeps snowing, it’s difficult to keep up. He warned that crews won’t truly get things clean up until after the snow stops.

He said that while he understands the frustration people who live on secondary roads may have, it may be a while before crews get to them.

“We can’t send trucks out to roads that maybe have 100 cars a day and let a road go that has 7,000 or 8,000. It just doesn’t make sense. And it’s frustrating because this has been about a 48-hour event so far. Those trucks have been out there around the clock, but we can’t leave those high-speed, high-volume roads,” Byrne said.

The weather has affected a few flights into Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The airport has real-time flight information on its website.


A few flurries will linger Monday but it will be generally dry. An Arctic cold front will usher in frigid air Tuesday with light to moderate lake-effect snow. Highs will be in the mid-upper 20s Tuesday morning with temperatures falling into the teens by Tuesday evening.

An Arctic front moves in Thursday, transitioning us to much colder weather.


Frigid weather will stall over West Michigan from Wednesday to the weekend. Highs will only climb into the teens. Lows will be in the single digits. Blustery winds Wednesday and Thursday will likely produce wind chills in the single digits, and even below zero! The coldest day will likely be Thursday.

Not much snow is expected to accumulate with this arctic blast. We could even see a couple quick breaks in the clouds in the otherwise mostly overcast week.

Arctic air arrive mid-week
Arctic air arrives mid-week.


Inside woodtv.com:

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