Winter storm hits northern Michigan
Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:39:28 GMT —
UPDATE: Meteorologist Joe Charlevoix is reporting that the peak of snow intensity will be between 6-10 pm tonight across northern Michigan. Thunder and lightning are possible.
Winds will crank up later tonight/tomorrow leading to near if not complete blizzard conditions.
Our area is still looking at widespread 8-16" snowfall total.
A low pressure system that formed over the plains is now strengthening near the Missouri/Illinois border, and is tracking northeast towards the eastern Great Lakes/Canada. The low pressure will exit the area Friday.
Expect the snow to increase in intensity during the day today and evening, along with winds. Although the majority of us will see all snow, some in the Central Lower/northeastern L.P. may see some rain/wintry mix later today and tonight as the low tracks across southern Michigan.
As the winds begin to shift to come out of the north, along with increasing, expect blowing and drifting snow - especially later today, overnight, and Friday. Winds are currently gusting in the 20s and low 30s (mph) and will increase this afternoon and evening. Gusts between 40-50mph will be common, and there may be a few gusts near 60mph near the lakeshores.
We have a winter storm warning in effect for the following counties: Chippewa, Mackinac, Emmet, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Charlevoix, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Alpena, Oscoda, Roscommon, Mason, Lake, and Osceola. The winter storm warning remains in effect until 7pm Friday.
Mason, Lake, Osceola, Missaukee counties already have accumulated 2-4" of snow overnight and are expected to add another few this morning. This afternoon we'll see some rain showers cross through before changing back to snow tonight - and get another 2-5" of snow tonight and Friday. Other N. MI counties under the winter storm warning can expect 8-14" of snowfall, with locally higher amounts possible - and combined with high winds, periodic blizzard conditions may occur.
We also have a winter weather advisory in effect until 7pm Friday for the following counties: Alcona, Ogemaw, and Gladwin. The snow may change over to some rain/wintry mix this afternoon before switching back to snow. This will mainly occur south of a line from Manistee to Alpena. Snowfall may be heavy at times, and blowing & drifting snow will occur with strong northerly winds. Snowfall looks to be about 3-6".
With this being a wet, heavy, snow, switches between rain/snow for some, and high winds - expect reduced visibilities, slick roads, blowing & drifting snow, and possible power outages. Give yourself extra time, and if you don't have to be on the roads-stay home and let crews try and keep them clear. Stay safe out there Northern Michigan!