Snow was expected to begin during the evening commute in West Michigan. Due to surface temperatures in the middle and upper 30s, the arrival could have evidenced itself as a rain/snow mix. All of the data we regularly analyze hinted at slightly lighter amounts of snowfall and some subtle shifts in the axis of heaviest snow.
Generally, 1 to 3 inches were anticipated in northern Allegan, Barry and Eaton counties and farther northward. From Allegan to Hastings to Charlotte and southward, including Kalamazoo, 2 to 4 inches were expected. It's important to note, additional snow would accumulate from lake effect snow bands Thursday night and Friday morning. The geography of lake effect, due to a north-northwest wind, favored locations west of U.S. 131 with upwards of 3 inches of new snow.
Winter Weather Advisories started at 1 p.m. in Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Branch counties, but a later start time of 7 p.m. in Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Calhoun, Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Ottawa, Kent and Ionia counties. The advisories cautioned about slippery roads, blowing and drifting snow, and hazardous commutes Thursday. This implied the Thursday morning and evening commutes would be adversely affected. Temperatures were forecast to plummet into the teens Thursday afternoon, which limited the effectiveness of salt on roads.
Snow would be steadiest and heaviest late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Snowfall was suggested to lighten up Thursday afternoon from west to east. Gentle reminder: Your Severe Weather Center 3 forecast is always waiting on you.
According to our friends at the Weather Prediction Center, confidence in at least 2 inches of snow was contoured at 80% to 90% throughout West Michigan. Confidence in at least 4 inches of snow or more was purported to be 30% to 40% across Kalamazoo County.
With temperatures advertised to drop into the single digits Friday morning and again Saturday morning, borderline dangerous wind chills would be an issue. The lowest wind chills were slated for locations near and east of U.S. 131.
The next chance for snow in West Michigan was Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. The going forecast was for 1 to 2 inches of accumulation during this time.