Early spring storm set to strike Michigan Friday

Freezing rain and sleet are increasingly likely late Thursday night into Friday.

Some sunshine will peek through Wednesday but all eyes are still focused on Friday as a messy weather system is still forecasted to arrive.

Parts of the Eastern U.P. actually had some accumulating snow Tuesday night with 2" reported west of Brimley along Whitefish Bay and also at Raber in Chippewa County behind the departure of low pressure.

We set the table for a decent day Wednesday with dry weather areawide and a good deal of sunshine expected. Temperatures will sit below normal with daytime highs ranging from 28F at Sault Ste. Marie to as warm as 43F at both Cadillac and Houghton Lake.

For the majority of us, Thursday looks quiet but for those of you along/south of highway M-55 there could be a little sleet or freezing rain. The first of two weather disturbances will roll across Southern Michigan with a variety of freezing rain and sleet downstate. The northern extent of that will lift as far north as the US-10/M-55 area where a little light freezing rain or sleet may occur in places such as Big Rapids/Reed City/Clare. That should be about as far north as this gets as a dry northeast wind will prevent any further northward momentum to the precipitation. Further north, the sun will be out much of Thursday far northern Lower Michigan and the Eastern U.P./Straits.

Friday is the day of bigger concern. Deep low pressure will approach with a generous amount of moisture getting drawn into this system off the Gulf Of Mexico. We expect precipitation to break out around/after midnight Thursday night into Friday. The million dollar question is how much warm air will get drawn into this storm. We believe that the big snowfall with this will align itself across the Western/Central Upper Peninsula where a foot of snow may fall on the far west end where it will be much colder. For Northern Michigan, a more likely scenario for us is sleet or freezing rain dominating the weather Friday as it will be a bit warmer locally. Still, there is potential for icing and hazardous travel right off the bat Friday morning into the afternoon hours. One wild card will be if it gets warm enough, that perhaps just plain rain will fall with less icing. That would be the optimal situation, but as of this writing, freezing rain and sleet are likely.

Friday night this system will exit the area with temperatures falling allowing for some snow to wrap-around back across Northern Michigan. Some of that snow will linger into the first half of Saturday.

We will continue to analyze the latest data and bring you the latest on this incoming storm system.