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OT: Anybody live in western Michigan? I gots questions.


SonicVI
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I'm going to be going to Western Michigan (Grand Rapids area) this fall and have some questions about travel conditions. How snowy does it get by late October though mid December? Do roads generally stay pretty drivable or does it get pretty treacherous? Being from Texas I don't really have much experience with real winter driving. I'd like to drive up, but I'm just trying to decide if it would just be better for me to fly instead.

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do not live there, but:

 

http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USMI0344

 

btw, driving in ice/snow varies a lot, across the country. No guarantees, but in a place like MI I would anticipate a fair amount of snow-removal equipment and relatively "dry" snow....however in Oregon, we have {censored}all for snowremoval gear and the snow tends to be very "wet" so it packs to a slick ice-layer....really not what you want to drive on.

 

Buy a beater and learn to drive in the weather. Leave the pink caddy at the ranch.

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Yeah, I figure the state can't just shut down when it gets snowy, like it does when we get snow/ice in Texas and everything closes for a day or two. I've looked up historical weather info, but some first hand experience would probly be more helpful.

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I live in SE Mich. Family yon that side. They get more snow due to the lake, but as long as you have decent tires, most of the main roads are good 99% of the time. Very rarely anymore honestly. Global warming and all that. We hardly had any snow this past winter, and that side got a lot less than usual. You'll be good.

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Based on this last winter, you could pedal a bike with shorts on in Michigan during that time.

 

However, IMO we really don't get blasted with a good snowfall 'till late December into January and yes the western part of the state does get more snow but you should be fine.

 

Couple of things that I noticed is that people tend to drive slower in the rain then they do when it's snowing. Why? I have no idea but they do.

 

Basically, follow these suggestions.

 

1) Drive slow. Common sense you would think but see my statement about people driving in the rain compared to snow.

 

2) Don't switch in and out of lanes unless you absolutely have to.

 

3) Slowly accelerate from a dead stop; if you punch it you'll just spin your tires and go no where.

 

4) If you are ever sliding due to ice steer INTO the slide not crank the wheel in the opposite direction like your playing Super Mario Kart. Or slammed on your brakes.

 

5) Watch out for ICE. Especially what we call BLACK ICE. It seems that the worse conditions to drive in are when the roads are icy or slick with sleet. A lot worse than snow.

 

Good luck and be sure to check out and enjoy the fall colors.

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I fear for you.


I, too, live in SE Michigan, and the Western side gets
a lot
more snow. When it snows, drive slowly. Embarrassingly slowly. And read this:


http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=how+to+drive+in+snow

 

What he said.

 

We get a fair amount of snow in SE Michigan. The western side of the state is like Siberia, man, dude to being right off the lake. Be very afraid.

 

As far as driving in it, it's not really that bad. Just go slow.

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I grew up in Holland, its west of GR right on lake Michigan. It snows a lot. A lot. Lake effect snow. now I live in haslett which gets a lot less snow.

 

 

That time of the year should be fine. You are going to have to learn to drive in it, winter is long. They plow and salt really well.

 

 

 

+ 1 founders breakfast stout, its delicious.

 

Also try bells two hearted, shorts humalumalicious, dark horse crooked tree. Lots of good beers in the mitten

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I've been to the area many times in the winter and I can tell you that driving doesn't get that bad in the winter....and you'll get used to driving on snow/ice quicker than you think. Don't freak yourself out about it - you'll adapt just fine.

 

 

We get a fair amount of snow in SE Michigan.
The western side of the state is like Siberia
, man, dude to being right off the lake. Be very afraid.

 

Come on, it's not that bad. Don't scare the guy :)

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I'm going to be going to Western Michigan (Grand Rapids area) this fall and have some questions about travel conditions. How snowy does it get by late October though mid December? Do roads generally stay pretty drivable or does it get pretty treacherous? Being from Texas I don't really have much experience with real winter driving. I'd like to drive up, but I'm just trying to decide if it would just be better for me to fly instead.

 

Hey!

I moved here in 2003 from Ft. Worth. The first winter here was exciting and intimidating, but all the previous comments are spot on. They are quick and good with the plows and ice, at least on the main roads and freeways. Make sure your tires are good; drive slow, steady, and sure; give yourself ample time and space to break. You'll be fine.

 

This past winter didn't even happen. But a couple of years ago we got 18" in one day. THAT was a bitch of a day.

 

OH! Keep a snow shovel, ice scraper/brush, and extra pair of gloves in your trunk. And TRY THE BEER.

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I live in Grand Rapids. The weather this year was exceptional for its lack of snow but, on average, there is not a lot of snow until late December or early January. However, one single snow storm can change all that, leaving snow on the ground for as long as temperature permits.

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If you have a rear wheel drive car or truck, put some weight in the back. Front wheel drive rules on the slippery stuff.

 

When I was teaching both my boys how to drive on ice the first thing I did was take them to an abandon snow covered parking lot and told them to drive around like idiots. Then I threatened their lives if they did that in the real world. lol But, they were able to get the feel of a car sliding on ice and what to do about it.

 

Also, once you get somewhat comfortable driving on slippery roads, try to stay with the flow of traffic while leaving enough room if you have to get on the brakes. Driving too slow can be more dangerous sometimes than driving too fast. Not to mention it pisses off people like me that are trying to get somewhere lol

 

And most of all, always know when its just better to stay off the roads.

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Michigan weather is so weird. I remember one particular day a few months ago, I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and shorts comfortably, and then the temperature dropped and we got snow later that day. I have lived in Ann Arbor and Petoskey, and will be living in Marquette in the fall.

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This year was an incredibly mild winter but that's not the normal. A couple of years ago it was snowing in May, while other years I've been swimming in May. This March it was 80+ degrees almost the whole month.

 

If you've never driven in snow before I would say the number 1 rule is to go easy, don't brake too quickly and don't accelerate too quickly. I know this lady that can not drive in snow, she gets in an accident almost every time and it's because she brakes too late.

 

If you're anything like me you will hate the winter and love the summer. There are lakes everywhere around here but the winters can suck the life out of you.

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We may get a freak snowstorm early on in December but the snow will only stay for about a day.

Much better in GR than it is north. Cadillac and further seem to get really pelted. I moved

From the frozen tundra area to downtown GR in late 2009. Last year I used my snowblower twice.

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Hey Sonic... I have lived half my life in MI (upper peninsula), and the other half in Austin so I know where you are coming from.

 

The cities do not shut down like they do in TX when it sleets. The roads are salted and plowed, so they are relatively safe. Just remember to give yourself enough time to brake, and also do not tailgate!!! This is something that most Texans love to do, but it is highly dangerous in snowy weather. Keep a good distance between cars.

 

That time of year shouldn't be too bad up there as well. It should still be fall and extremely beautiful. There might be snow in October, but not much.

 

If you are nervous about driving, just wait til it stops snowing and the roads should be fine soon after.

 

Never been to Big Rapids, but Grand Rapids is pretty cool. Nice downtown.

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