Between 6-16 inches of snow possible across Southeast Michigan
DETROIT – Everything remains on track thus far for our biggest snowstorm in seven years.
As you probably know by now, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for all of Southeast Michigan from Wednesday morning through Thursday night. This should be a long-duration snow event, with significant accumulation possible.
Here’s what I’m expecting after review of Monday afternoon’s computer model data:
Rain will develop either late Tuesday afternoon or early Tuesday evening. However, as a cold front crosses the area and drops our temperatures, that rain will change to snow overnight Tuesday, and the snow will become heavy Wednesday morning and continue into Wednesday evening.
What’s important to remember is that there are two parts to this snow event: the Wednesday snow, and the Thursday snow.
The snow won’t end, but it could become lighter at some point overnight Wednesday night before picking up again Thursday as the potential second wave moves in.
There is still some uncertainty about the Thursday piece, but we’ll have better confidence about that Tuesday.
Snow amounts across the area will be highest in the south, where 12-16 inches are possible. The central part of the area (generally between I-96 and I-69) will probably see 10-15 inches, and the northern part of the area probably 6-10 inches.
Obviously, very small changes in the weather pattern could shift where these amounts end up, and as with any forecast for snow of this magnitude, do not just focus on the highest number of each range. A snowfall of this magnitude isn’t that common for us, so it takes all of the meteorological parameters coming together just right to achieve the worst-case scenario.
If you haven’t already and you have the ability, I strongly urge you to make plans to work from home at least Wednesday and Thursday. If you have kids, there is the high probability for snow days Wednesday and Thursday, and probably Friday for some districts.
Remember that the road crews have a priority list. Freeways are top priority, followed by main avenues (such as Telegraph, Grand River, Michigan Avenue, Woodward, Gratiot, etc.), followed by smaller surface streets, followed by neighborhoods.
Be sure you’re prepared to hunker down for a few days, as it might not be until Friday or the weekend before some of your neighborhood streets are plowed.
Stay tuned to Local 4, ClickOnDetroit.com and the Local4Casters weather app (best weather app in the nation) for the very latest. We have been all over this storm since last week and will keep you updated.