Winter is blasting in in an even bigger way.

The National Weather Service's Grand Rapids Office has issued a winter storm warning for this afternoon through Friday afternoon, calling the wintry blast coming our way in greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan as "significant."

Basically, more than a foot of snow is possible with heavy snow beginning about 2 p.m. EST and continuing through Friday. Wind gusts are forecast to be up to 45 miles per hour, with blowing and drifting snow and wind chills of 10 degrees below zero.

From the National Weather Service Grand Rapids:

Travel conditions will deteriorate quickly this afternoon as the snow moves in and near blizzard conditions are likely to develop this afternoon and evening from around South Haven north to Ludington and Manistee. Wind chill readings will remain very cold at around 10 to 20 below zero today through tonight and Friday."

The winter storm warning is in effect through 4 p.m. EST Friday.

The Cliff's Notes for the hazardous weather:

  • Heavy snow begins about 2 p.m. and continues into Friday.
  • Three to six inches are expected through early tonight.
  • Snowfall totals are to be about a foot by Friday afternoon, with some locales near a foot and a half.
  • Wind gusts of near 45 miles per hour will cause blowing and drifting snow.
  • Visibility will be down in some areas to a few car lengths or less.
  • Wind chills are to plummet to 10 degrees below zero.

The impacts

  • Dangerous travel conditions, with roads being impassable or closed.
  • Dangerous outdoor conditions, with it only taking 30 minutes or so to freeze exposed skin.
  • Expect scattered power outages.

Suggestions

  • Avoid travel, if at all possible.
  • Stay indoors.
Courtesy National Weather Service Grand Rapids
Courtesy National Weather Service Grand Rapids
Courtesy National Weather Service Grand Rapids