Major arctic cold front to hit West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The most significant cold spell in a year is set to hit West Michigan early Tuesday morning. The region could see a week or more of highs that don’t warm above freezing.

The storm’s classic strong synoptic low setup will bring strong southerly breezy to the Great Lakes Monday and that will push high temperatures well into the 50s, and 60 degrees is not out of the question. The warmth will continue well into Monday night.

Wind chills (apparent temperatures) will be in the mid or even upper 50s at 11 p.m. Monday, but will fall rapidly through the day Tuesday.

 

Wind chills (apparent temperatures) will be in the mid or even upper 50s at 11 p.m. Monday, but will fall rapidly through the day Tuesday.

 

Rain is likely Monday, especially in the morning and late day when a few thunderstorms are possible ahead of the cold front.

After the cold front pumps in Arctic air Tuesday, we won’t see much show; the air mass will be very dry and there won’t be enough moisture for much more than light snow or flurries, however lake effect snow is likely Wednesday through Friday but that lake effect snow won’t be significant for most areas. Enough to accumulate, yes, but heavy lake effect snow isn’t likely until next weekend because of wind direction.

Winds Wednesday afternoon will be roughly westerly, which will produce some lake effect snow, but more signification lake effect is likely next weekend when a more northerly wind component is introduced.

 

By next weekend, a clipper system is forecast to drop down and pull in a reinforcing shot of cold air and a kick of potentially greater lake snow.

This map shows height anomalies, a way of depicting the density of an air mass. The shallower the air mass, the colder.

Temperatures are likely to stay mostly colder than normal for the rest of the month of December as Arctic air generally sits near the Great Lakes.

Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Kyle Underwood answered questions and discussed what to expect from the cold front in a Facebook Live Sunday night.