Christmas Eve Heavy Snow Event

12/24/14 – I wanted a snowstorm for my birthday, and my birthday just happens to fall on Christmas Eve. I got my wish! ..well … sort of.

The medium range computer models (GFS and ECMWF (aka the EURO)) were both showing the potential for a big storm system to impact the Great Lakes region around Christmastime. The only issue was, how much warm air would advection would impact the outcome of this system. The models trended pretty well through the medium range, but by the time the model runs were in the short range, it was anybody’s guess as to what would happen. The GFS, NAM, ECMWF, GEM, and others were flip flopping all over the place. Everything from all rain, to rain to snow, to an all out snowstorm with some models predicting anywhere from 6 to 14 inches of snow. The NAM was the one that remained most bullish in regards to snowfall. There really was no pinning down a forecast until about 3-6 hours before the snow actually started. Nobody (myself included) was able to get the forecast exactly right.

As it would turn out, the NAM was way overdone. Too much warm air advection killed our chances for a really good snowstorm. Most areas only ended up with 2 inches or less. The whole time leading up to the snow it had been raining and mild. Detroit even reached into the 50s for highs. There really wasn’t any arctic air for this storm system to tap. Temperatures remained in the mid to upper 30s throughout the night, and into Christmas day. Any snow that did fall, melted within a few hours. I was fortunate enough to be in an area which snow formed, and it formed well. Greenville, MI received some very heavy snowfall in the 8-9PM hour. Roads quickly became slushy and slippery. The flake clumps were large, and the snow was very wet. I knew that if did snow, that this is the type it would be. I stayed patient as best I could, hoping for heavier snow to start falling. Once it did, I was right out in it all. Even though this was short lived, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Below you will see a video which is full of clips of the very heavy snowfall, and also at the tail end there’s a scene in downtown Greenville which shows the lovely display of Christmas lights lining the road. Below the video there are some photos to check out as well. Hope you enjoy, and as always, feel free to share this article on your favorite social networks. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and have a Happy New Year!

Chuck Russell

I shoot photos and videos of various different types of events related to weather, nature, motorsports, breaking news, and more and share what I capture with the world at

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