12/14- 12 Noon
Our storm continues to unfold with widespread snow and some blowing snow as the system wraps up nicely and precipitates much of the available moisture. This has been increasing snowfall rates across the region and to the south this morning and this will persist this afternoon which helps fine turning snowfall amounts. With a slightly better storm center and very efficient snow producer; I look for mainly 5" - 7" across much of Southeast Lower Michigan south of I-69 with scattered pockets of 8"+; especially from the Ann Arbor area into Metro Detroit and south to the Ohio border. Some blowing and drifting will also occur do to a stiff northeast to north wind of 10 to 20 mph and gusts occasionally near 25 mph.
A low pressure system moving through the Upper Ohio Valley on Saturday will bring a light to moderate snowfall to the region. Snow will overspread Southeast Lower Michigan later tonight and continue into Saturday evening before diminishing to flurries from west to east overnight Saturday into early Sunday morning.
Look for snowfall totals to range in the 3 - 6" range across the southern half of the region (basically south of I-69) with the highest totals south of I-94. Some isolated totals of 6"+ are possible in the heaviest falls. Across the Saginaw Valley into the Thumb; generally 2 - 4" can be expected...a bit higher downwind of Lake Huron. Lowest visibilities during the storm will range from around a 1/2 mile to 1 mile in snow or snow and light fog.
This is Southeast Lower Michigan's first notable snowfall of the season of advisory criteria and motorists and holiday shoppers will observe poor winter driving conditions and be ready to act accordingly. In addition; the nearly persistent cold below normal temperatures of the past several weeks will continue into at least mid week which will preserve the snowfall and allow winter outdoor enthusiasts and snow lovers in general, time to enjoy it. This snowfall of course will give the region a Christmas scenario look at least before Christmas (see my "Past Christmas's" write-up blog will be online next week).
Speaking of the holiday; another storm will possibly brew next week at this same time (the Friday into Sunday timeframe) but as of this writing; model trajectories are all over the board with the when, where and type of precipitation occurrence. At this very early date; one should at least be aware there is the risk of some type of winter mess affecting Southeast Lower Michigan next weekend, the weekend before Christmas. This will be a heavier traveled weekend to boot and updates on that system will be forthcoming.
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian