Freezing rain moves across West Michigan Wednesday

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — At this time last week, West Michigan was turning into a glacier. Then a surge of warmer temperatures arrived this week, virtually wiping out the snowpack.

Here’s high temperatures since Jan. 23. The high Tuesday will likely be 36 in Grand Rapids:

We’ll see highs in the low to mid-30s Wednesday then into the 40s Thursday and back to the low to mid-20s on Friday and Saturday.

Here’s current radar:

Click for latest Base Reflectivity radar loop from the Grand Rapids/Muskegon, MI radar and current weather warnings

Precipitation should spread across the area from west to east between 9 p.m. and midnight. The most significant precipitation should last only several hours. There is a chance of a rumble of thunder (there has been some in Illinois). As the precipitation ends, we may see a period of drizzle or freezing drizzle (depending on whether the temperature is above or below 32).

From Benton Harbor to Coldwater south, it may stay above freezing and just be rain. From there north to the I-96 corridor, it’ll be mainly freezing rain. North of Kent County, it’ll be a mix of freezing rain and sleet with some snow north of US 10.

It only takes a very small amount of freezing rain to turn roads, parking lots and sidewalks slippery. Road conditions may improve in the afternoon with temperatures up into the low 30s and a little salt from the spreaders. Here’s current Michigan weather observations and the latest Grand Rapids National Weather Service Forecast Discussion.

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Wednesday will be one of those morning you will want to set the alarm a little early to tune in to 24 Hour News 8 Daybreak starting at 4:30 a.m. for the latest traffic and weather updates.

Just a one-half inch of freezing rain can add 500 pounds to a power line and 30 times the weight to a tree limb. Fortunately, there will not be much wind with this event, but don’t be surprised to have a few power outages.

The active weather pattern continues Wednesday night through Friday. We could see more freezing rain Wednesday night, rain on Thursday and snow and lots of wind on Friday. Storm Team 8 will keep you covered with any changes to the forecast.

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