Messy weather on deck Monday, with rain/snow/sleet/freezing rain spreading across
A messy start of the week is in-store across northern Michigan as a winter storm approaches, bringing all sorts of precipitation to the area - snow/sleet/freezing rain to just plain old rain are all in play.
Low pressure has continued to develop and strengthen over the mid-Mississippi Valley region this Monday morning, with its track reaching Illinois by Monday evening and eventually crossing the central Lower Peninsula Tuesday morning. This system will finally exit the Great Lakes by Tuesday evening.
Northern Michigan lies squarely in the transition zone with temperatures Monday sitting in the 20's over the U.P./Straits where mainly snow will fall to mid-40's across Central/Southern Lower Michigan where it will rain. In-between will lie an area of freezing rain/sleet across mainly Northern Lower Michigan with some ice accumulation possible.
This will ramp up early Monday with rain developing along/south of highway M-55 by sunrise Monday morning. Temperatures will be in the low/mid-30's in this area but there could be early day icing. As this all lifts north, where it is colder we expect snow to develop from highway M-32 north initially with freezing rain/sleet/rain south of there by midday Monday. It appears the rain/freezing rain line will lift as far north as Pellston-Cheboygan by Monday night.
SNOW: The Eastern U.P./Straits along with a decent portion of Northeast Lower Michigan will see all snow out of this event as it stays too cold to switch over. Expect a solid 3-6" of snow by mid-Monday evening from Gaylord north/east of there including Alpena/Cheboygan/Drummond Island/Sault Ste. Marie. Total snow accumulation by late Tuesday here will end up in the 3-8" range. Further south, little if any snow through early Tuesday morning.
ICE: South of the snow area will be a wedge of freezing rain which initially looks to set up between highway M-72 on the south end to highway M-68 on the north side. Some spots we are looking at include Bellaire/Gaylord/Grayling/Kalkaska and several spots surrounding these areas. Ice accumulation will sit in the .05-.30" range. That higher amount will be in very isolated spots but is possible. Roads will be very treacherous in some spots here the duration of Monday.
RAIN: Along/south of highway M-55 we expect temperatures to remain warm enough for just rain. The may be a window earlier in the morning (especially between M-72 and M-55) where roads may ice up some but it will warm enough for just rain and wet roads by the afternoon/evening hours.
The system departs by Tuesday evening, with high pressure building by Wednesday. This will give quiet weather across northern Michigan throughout the rest of the week, along with increasing temperatures once again - 10s/20s Wednesday, 20s/30s on Thursday, 30s/40s on Friday. Dry weather will last through the end of the workweek, before another system arrives for the weekend. The track of this next system will allow northern Michigan to be completely in the warm sector, and bring plain old rain on Saturday. Cold air filters in on the backside of this system on Sunday, returning lake effect snow chances.
-Meteorologist Blake Hansen