Warm before the storm

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:19 AM

“Today’s the best day so far,” David said as he glanced across the sparkling water.

Clad in a couple oflayers of T-shirts and a sweatshirt, the men said they were fairly comfortable as the temperature warmed into the mid-50s in the afternoon, far above the average of 31 degrees for Jan. 11.

David said he’s been able to take advantage of the weather and hang out with his dad because he’s currently laid-off from his construction job.

“We’re trying to do 2-3 rides a week,” David said.

“As often as weather permits,” Ron added. “We hope it’s only a week or so of bad weather, then back to this.”

On the east side of Spring Lake, some fishermen were enjoying the spring-like temperatures by fishing from their boats on Petty’s Bayou, near Bowen’s Bridge. Cody Wheeler and Brandon Alexander of Fruitport said neither of them had ever been in a boat in January before.

“Usually, I’m fishing on the ice this time of year and I’m completely freezing,” Alexander said.

“It’s been crazy,” agreed Trever Nuismer of Fruitport, who was fishing in a different boat with Carl Bouwkamp of Grand Haven. “I come out here all spring, summer and fall — but never in January.”     

Nuismer said he had caught a couple of small fish at that point.

The weather is expected to radically turn back to winter beginning this afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, for heavy snow, in effect from 4 p.m. today to 7 p.m. Friday.

The warning area includes Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, Kalamazoo, Lake, Mason, Oceana and Van Buren counties.

A mix of rain and snow early this afternoon will transition to all snow by late this afternoon from west to east. The weather bureau said 5-10 inches of snow is expected across the area through 7 p.m. Friday.

Locally higher amounts are likely west of a line from Holland to Paw Paw, and some additional snow is likely Friday night.

Wind gusts increasing to 40 mph will help to produce blowing and drifting snow beginning this evening, and will continue through the day on Friday.

The Friday morning commute is expected to be impacted by snow and blowing and drifting snow. Roads will become snow-covered and slick, and visibilities are expected to be reduced to near zero at times with falling snow and blowing and drifting snow.

The weather bureau recommends travel be restricted to emergencies only during the storm. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

The Michigan Department of Transportation reminds motorists to adjust speeds based on the conditions, and to take it slow on ice and snow.

Weather preparedness information is available on line at www.ready.gov/winter and http://go.usa.gov/5og.

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