First Snowstorm of the Season

The first snowstorm of the 2009-2010 season swept into Southwest Lower Michigan on Thursday evening, persisting into Friday morning. Several inches of slushy snow accumulated on roads from Muskegon to Grand Rapids, slowing the Friday morning commute as people remembered their winter safe driving techniques. Snow totals ranged from less than an inch from Lansing to Jackson, to over a foot northwest of Grand Rapids in a narrow area from northern Ottawa County into central Kent County. Here is a snowfall map. (The map is also inserted below).

The area of heaviest snow resulted from a band of strong updrafts, similar to summer thunderstorms, that trained over this area Thursday night. Thundersnow was indeed reported, with some lightning seen in Ottawa County. A second area of higher snow totals was centered near Plainwell in southeast Allegan County.


Storm Total Snowfall *

* Reports received this morning into midday.

* Additional accumulations during the daylight hours of Friday have been light.


* Marne: 15.0 inches

* Coopersville: 14.0 inches estimated

* Walker (3.2 mi west): 13.2 inches

* Cannonsburg (3 mi west-southwest): 11.7 inches

* Lamont: 11.0 inches

* Grand Rapids (3.0 mi northwest): 10 inches

* Sparta: 9 inches

* Ada (2.0 mi west): 8.3 inches

* Plainwell: 8 inches

* Rockford: 7.5 inches

* Grand Haven: 7.5 inches

* Hudsonville (3.0 mi north): 7.0 inches

* Grand Rapids (airport): 6 inches

* Ionia: 5 inches

* Dorr: 5 inches

* Muskegon (airport): 4.3 inches

* Norton Shores: 4.0 inches

* Saint Johns: 2 inches

* Alma: 2 inches

* Walkerville (Oceana County): 2 inches

* Reed City: 2 inches

* Lansing (airport): Trace

The snowfall analysis below is not official data. It is the National Weather Service's best estimate of how much snow fell across southwest Michigan during the specified time period, using reports from local law enforcement agencies, volunteer spotters, and road commissions. In many cases, the reports received by the NWS are only rough estimates and are not official measurements.



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