The Christmas vacation period will feature the classic lake-effect snow pattern throughout western Michigan. Grand Rapids will have accumulated snow, but you will not be in the heaviest snow area.
As soon as the cold wind settles around Grand Rapids, the wind will blow from the northwest. Northwest winds generally maintain the heavier lake effect southwest of Grand Rapids, around Holland, Allegan, Saugatuck and Kalamazoo.
Northwest winds also bring heavy snow to the coast north of Grand Rapids. Muskegon to Pentwater will also be in the heaviest snow bands.
On Christmas afternoon, the wind will change to blow more west. This wind flow makes the lake-effect snow more vigorous reaching Grand Rapids.
Here is the radar forecast for Christmas.
Here is the expected amount of snow that will fall the day after Christmas.
Kent County always seems to be a dividing line between the amounts of light and heavy snow. But on Christmas Eve, Grand Rapids can have 5 to 10 cm of snow, with a slope to the lowest levels. Just 20 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, the Netherlands can have 15 or more inches of snow. As we move eastward from Grand Rapids, snow will accumulate just 1 or 2 inches.