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Valid Thursday 02/15/2024

Update 1: Issued 8:20pm EST 02/14/2024



The forecast remains on track thus far.


00z (8:00pm EST) computer weather model guidance continues to demonstrate a swath of heavy snow moving through the region beginning early tomorrow morning. The area with the most potential to see the most snow by 8:00am will be near Muskegon.


We have bumped the orange-shaded "Elevated Risk" into this region to reflect this. As we mentioned earlier, there is not much confidence in these school closing chances as the system may arrive too late in the morning to impact school commutes. In an abundance of caution, and bearing in mind that schools may decide to close to avoid the afternoon commute, we will continue to lead with a low-end "Elevated Risk" with chances toward the lower end of that 31-50% range.


 

Original Discussion/Graphic: Issued 3:45pm EST 02/14/2024

Initial Forecast Graphic:

Initial Discussion:

A quick-hitting, early morning clipper system will impact the region beginning overnight tonight and into tomorrow. Travel impacts for the morning commute, especially North of the I-96 corridor appear increasingly likely.


There is a "3-fold" style risk for this system that has allowed our confidence to increase enough to introduce a Level 3/6 "Elevated Risk" (orange-shaded areas) for this issuance of our Day 1 School Closing Outlook.


  • Risk number one is the quick-hitting, heavy/wet snow with very high snowfall rates possibly in excess of 1 inch per hour at times with the potential to drop as much as 2 to 4 inches across the orange-shaded and Northern portions of the yellow-shaded areas prior to the morning school commute beginning.

  • Risk number two is the potential for schools to close in anticipation of the heavy snow lasting through the day and allowing for snow accumulations of 3-6 inches, especially in the orange-shaded areas, and the desire to avoid the necessity of afternoon bussing.

  • Risk number three is the potential for a glaze of ice accumulation due to light mixed precipitation and freezing rain, primarily in the green-shaded areas.


Overall, we don't have much confidence with this system and the potential for school closures but we do believe that a combination of all three of the aforementioned risk factors will lead to at least a few isolated, to perhaps widely scattered, school closings for Thursday morning especially within the orange-shaded risk area.


 

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the purple-shaded counties in the graphic below (Left side text data is for Mason, Oceana, Lake, Osceola, Newaygo, Montcalm, and Mecosta. Right side text data is for Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Ionia). Expect travel impacts throughout much of the mid to late morning on Thursday with the potential for snow-covered and slick roads, reduced visibilities, and perhaps a few isolated power outages due to the heavy snow.



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