GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan became a winter wonderland this week. Depending on where you are in the region, you received anywhere from 4 inches to more than 20 inches of snowfall over a 48-hour period.
It has been years since West Michigan has seen a lake-effect event this widespread and significant.
FORECAST VS. ACTUAL
On Wednesday, Storm Team 8 forecast 12 to 20 inches of snow for a large area of West Michigan, with almost everyone in our viewing area expecting a half a foot or more.
Here is a map of the Storm Team 8 forecast and a map showing the actual amounts that fell over our region from Wednesday morning through Friday morning, as recorded by the National Weather Service.
Some of the biggest totals were reported by spotters in Van Buren and Berrien counties with amounts approaching two feet. Gusty winds led to snow drifts that were much higher than that, with low visibilities at times on roads.
Official storm reports from spotters helped to verify what had fallen across the region.
This lake-effect snow event is also impressive due to the shear extent of impact. Several counties ended up with more than a foot of new snow on the ground, including Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon.
Liquid water to snow ratios were mostly 20:1, which made for very light and fluffy snow; ideal for outdoor recreation.
Some places, like Battle Creek, ended up on the low end of the forecast with only 4 inches of new snow. Grand Rapids saw enough to launch it into the “above average” category for seasonal snow. Usually by this time of year Grand Rapids has around 32 inches of snow. As of Friday, the city was sitting at 38.8 inches.
More snow is expected Monday and Tuesday, but amounts are expected to be much less.