We have a chance of a rare phenomena called “thundersnow” today in West Michigan (and also over and just east and southeast of lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario).

We have very cold air just above ground level. The European model predicts that the air temperature about a mile above Grand Rapids will fall to 15°F by late afternoon. As I write this around 4 am, I see we have a water temperature of 55° at the Port Sheldon buoy and 56° at the S. Haven buoy. That’s a difference of about 40°. Air temperatures will likely be in the low-mid 30s at ground level. We expect mostly snow inland and a mix of rain and snow is possible over the lake and near the shoreline.

This is the thunderstorm outlook for today (10/31) from the Storm Prediction Center. The only place in the entire U.S. where a thunderstorm is possible is over and just downwind (east) of the Great Lakes. SPC says: “Weak low-level instability may develop beneath the upper low where lapse rates will be steep, and with the aid of moist winds across the Great Lakes. The most likely area for a few lightning flashes appears to be near Lake MI.

If we do get thundersnow, it’s possible we would get a quick shot of moderate to heavy snow that could cause a brief period of slippery roads (as the snow lets up in intensity, “heat” from the ground (2″ soil temperature is now 48°) would be able to melt the snow on the pavement (though it may linger on the grass.)

Keep up with the latest forecasts today. Here’s radar:

Kent and Ottawa Counties:

Radar for Ottawa, S. Muskegon, Kent, Ionia and Montcalm Counties

Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel goes crazy over thundersnow!

Happy Halloween everybody! Thanks for reading my blog.