Convective Snow Showers

2/12/16 – This was a day that really gave me the storm chasing itch, but the thing is, these weren’t thunderstorms. They were heavy snow showers. Steep lapse rates, coupled with other favorable upper level support, sunshine, and lake effect influence created the perfect setup for intense convective snow showers. Some of these looked like pop up thunderstorms almost, taking on anvil shapes, and bubbling updrafts.

I started the day near Greenville, MI, snapping off a couple of shots in a field of the snow showers, then headed west toward Rockford, MI on M-57. I staged around M-57 and US 131. I began documenting some of the heavier snow showers as they raced through the area. Some of these created some whiteout conditions in a hurry, and slowed traffic down and caused some backups too on US 131. Below is a video of the snow in the Rockford area, and also photos from Greenville and Rockford.

After that batch of snow showers, I drove over to Belding, MI to intercept some more heavy snow showers. These were quite photogenic, resembling a thunderstorm anvil over a field near Wabasis Lake. I headed east down M-44 as fast as I could to catch up with the snow showers, then drove right into them. These were even more intense than the ones I saw earlier in the day. Almost total whiteout conditions, and visibility less than 1/4mi was common. Below is a video and collection of photos from the Belding, MI area. This was a fun day, and kind of prepared me for storm chasing. A good test run for the car. 🙂

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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