Blizzard-like conditions at times on Friday
Fri, 24 Jan 2014 16:00:31 GMT —
Cold, snowy, windy, whiteout conditions will linger into Saturday.
Low pressure in Canada will push eastward - bringing a warm front through Friday, and its cold front behind it heading into Saturday.
Thanks to our viewing area being smooshed between this low pressure to the north and high pressure to the south, winds will be high throughout the day Friday, and then again Saturday behind the low.
Snow showers moved in quickly with the approaching warm front Friday morning, and winds picked up as well. Winds Friday will be out of the southwest at 15-30mph with gusts to 50mph. This will cause the snow on the ground to drift and blow around - reducing visibilities and covering roads. We'll also pick up a decent amount of new snow during the day. They will shift Friday night to come out of the northwest Saturday behind the cold front - allowing for lake effect snow showers to occur.
Across our viewing area, expect wind chills below zero - at times to -20 degrees. Whiteout conditions are possible at times, and will be especially common along Lake Michigan and US-2 in the E. U.P. Travel is expected to become dangerous Friday and throughout Friday night. Snow will drift across roads, and N/S roads will be particularly prone to snow cover. Remember to bring pets indoors and bundle up - frostbite can occur on exposed skin in 20-30 minutes in weather this cold.
As of Friday morning the following are in effect:
*Mackinac County - Winter Storm Warning until 11pm Friday. 3-6+" snowfall, with the highest amounts west of 75. SW winds 20-35mph gusting to 50mph will cause frequent whiteout conditions, drifting, blowing snow, and wind chills to -15 degrees. Reports came in Friday morning of frequent whiteouts on US-2.
*Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee counties - Winter Storm Warning until 5am Saturday. 4-8+" snowfall, which may be heavy at times. SW winds 20-35mph gusting to 50mph creating drifts, blowing snow, frequent whiteout conditions, and wind chills to -15 degrees. Expect hazardous travel conditions, especially in open areas and near Lake Michigan.
*Mason, Lake, Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon counties - Winter Storm Warning until 7am Saturday. 4-8+" of snowfall. SW winds gusting to 40mph (higher gusts possible along Lake Michigan shoreline) causing blowing and drifting snow and wind chills to -20 degrees. Whiteouts are possible at times, and travel near the lakeshore and along N/S roads is expected to be hazardous.
*Luce County - Lake Effect Snow Watch from Friday night through Saturday evening, and Winter Weather Advisory until 7pm Friday. 10+" of snow is possible, with snowfall rates 1"/hr at times. 3-6" looks to fall throughout the day Friday. SW winds gusting to 40mph will cause drifting and blowing snow, especially near Lake Superior. Travel along M77 is expected to be hazardous, along with M28.
*Chippewa, Emmet, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Charlevoix, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Wexford, Missaukee counties - Winter Weather Advisory until 5am Saturday. 3-6+" snow. SW winds 20-35mph gusting to mid 40s will cause whiteout conditions at times, drifting, and wind chills to -15.
*Alpena, Oscoda, Alcona, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Gladwin, Arenac counties - Winter Weather Advisory until 5am Saturday. 1-2+" snow, with the highest amounts inland. Expect travel along I-75 to be rough. SW winds gusting to the mid 40s will create blowing snow, whiteout conditions at times, and wind chills to -15.
*Osceola, Clare, Mecosta, Isabella, Montcalm, Gratiot counties - Winter Weather Advisory until 7am Saturday. 2-4+" snow, with the highest amounts closer to the lakeshore, lesser amounts inland. SW winds gusting to the mid 40s will cause blowing snow, drifting, and whiteout conditions at times. Wind chills will be down to -25 degrees, which can cause frostbite on exposed skin in under 30 minutes.
Editor's note: We have already started to recieve early dismissals from schools and cancellations for after-school activities. For a full list, please visit our school closings page. The list will be automatically updated as soon as the closings are reported by school officials.