Over 30″ Reported in East Grand Rapids

WEST MICHIGAN — In order for lake effect snow to develop, there are three key ingredients required! There must be sufficient moisture from the Great Lakes, unwavering cold Canadian air, and steady winds. Our key ingredients added up in surplus between November 16th and November 20th, leading to a record lake effect snow event.

The Great Lakes water temperatures are still warm in the lower 50s, which was a great contrast to the cold temperatures settling into the region! Daytime high temperatures were only in the 20s. When forecasting lake effect snow, the difference between the water temperature and the air temperature about 5,000 feet up in the atmosphere must be at least 13 degrees Celsius. During the lake effect event between November 16th and November 20th, the difference was much greater than that! The larger the difference in water temperature versus upper air temperature, the greater chance for heavy lake effect.

In addition, the warmer water temperatures also lead to ample moisture! With the moisture and unwavering cold air in place, the last piece to lake effect is the wind! Winds during this event were primarily from the west and northwest, which often generates the most lake effect snow for West Michigan. Ultimately, these persistent and heavy bands of lake effect lead to snow totals over 2 feet in many spots!

In Grand Rapids, daily snow depth records were met three days in a row! On November 18th, Grand Rapids tied the daily snow depth record at 8 inches, which was tied in 1989 and 2014. On November 19th, 10 inches of snow fell over Grand Rapids, breaking the previous record of 8 inches set back in 2014. On November 20th, another 10 inches of snow fell, breaking the previous record of 7 inches set back in 2014.

The largest snow report during the lake effect event was in East Grand Rapids, totaling in at 30.8 inches! Below are various total snow reports across West Michigan between November 16th and November 20th.






Stay tuned with FOX 17 to find out when more snow could be back in the forecast! You can always download the FREE FOX 17 Weather App for your latest forecast video, or visit www.FOX17Online.com/Weather/.

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