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West Michigan braces for first snowfall of season

Tribune Staff • Nov 8, 2018 at 1:30 PM

West Michigan could see its first significant snowfall of the season over the next few days. 

According to the National Weather Service, a winter weather advisory goes into effect at 1 a.m. Friday and will continue through 7 a.m. Saturday. Snow accumulations of 3-5 inches are expected, along with wind gusts as high as 35 mph. 

The first bout of snow is expected early Friday morning as temperatures dip near or just below freezing. That could have a significant impact on the Friday morning commute. 

A stronger burst of snow and falling temperatures are forecast for Friday night into Saturday morning. 

The winter weather advisory is in effect for Ottawa, Mason, Lake, Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon, Kent, Allegan, Barry, Van Buren, Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties. 

SAFE DRIVING TIPS

The weather bureau says 1-3 inches of snow is expected to fall across much of the Lower Peninsula, while the Upper Peninsula could see 6-12 inches of snow by Sunday.

“It’s been at least six months since many of us saw snow on Michigan roads, which is why we’re encouraging drivers to slow down and leave plenty of distance between your car and the car in front of you,” said Dyck Van Koevering, general counsel for the Insurance Alliance of Michigan. “Many car crashes happen when drivers don’t expect the road to be slippery, so use extra caution when driving over bridges and overpasses as they are more likely to freeze over first.”

Other tips include:

• Drive distraction-free and don’t text while driving.

• Slow down.

• Be aware of what other drivers are doing around you, and expect the unexpected.

• Leave early so you don’t have to rush to reach your destination.

• Always wear your seat belt.

• Keep a blanket, bottled water and flashlights in your car in case you are stranded.

• If you are involved in an accident, pull your car to the side of the road if possible and call 911. 

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