Winter storm expected to hit West Michigan with several inches of snow

Photo of Chris Carr
The red areas on the map are under a winter storm warning and the counties in dark brown are under a winter weather advisory.

The red areas on the map are under a winter storm warning and the counties in dark brown are under a winter weather advisory.

National Weather Service data

A winter storm warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for most of the western lower peninsula.

The warning, in effect from 4 a.m. Jan. 5 until 7 a.m. Jan. 6, is for Allegan, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Mason, Manistee, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa and Wexford counties.

"A storm system moving through the Great Lakes tonight into Wednesday will bring accumulating snow and gusty winds to the region. The areas expected to see the most impacts will be along the Lake Michigan coast, where the lake will enhance snowfall totals. There will be impacts to travel in these areas," the National Weather Service states on its website.

Heavy snow can be expected with accumulations of 4 to 9 inches. Wind gusts could reach as high as 50 miles per hour in portions of southwest and west central Michigan, according to the NWS.

The winter weather could make travel difficult with blowing snow reducing visibility and scattered power outages are a possibility. The weather system will bring near blizzard conditions that may include occasional whiteouts.

"Localized heavy lake effect snow and hazardous travel conditions could continue into Thursday and Thursday night for portions of western Lower Michigan," the NWS forecast states.

Other areas closer to central parts of the state will also see the weather system. A winter weather advisory has been issued for Barry, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Mecosta, Montcalm, Osceola and Van Buren counties from 4 a.m. Wednesday until 7 a.m. Thursday. Travel will be impacted with 2 to 4 inches of accumulating snow, icy road conditions and winds of up to 45 miles per hour.