Major Late Winter Storm Likely to Impact Southeast Lower Michigan With Strong Winds and Heavy Snow!

After several days on various tracks of the possible impending storm, better sampling of the atmosphere is indicating very strong dynamic system with copious moisture will affect the region. A more definitive track is beginning to emerge even though this system is still a good few days away, it appears all models have a better handle on the outcome now.

Still; the exact track of the storm/low will have a major impact of snowfalls across Southeast Lower Michigan and Lower Michigan, as a whole. Along with the crucial track of the low determining snowfalls will be the existing relatively mild temperatures ahead and during the early stages of the storm on Wednesday when rain, mixed rain and snow is expected. All precipitation is expected to change over to all snow by Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

At this early juncture; snowfalls of 3 - 5" are likely across the mildest areas of Southeast Michigan over the Southeast corner Lower Michigan. Areas away from the Southeast corner; which includes much of the Metro Detroit Area west into Ann Arbor, Brighton, Howell, Flint and areas west and north where general snowfalls of 5"- 9" (highest amounts will be further away from the Southeast Lower Michigan corner where isolated higher snow amounts are possible). Besides of snow of course, will be the very strong northeast winds of 20 - 30 mph with gusts near 40 will cause problems with power and tree limbs along with the heavy snow.

This storm has more of a Gulf Low characteristic which generally contain the best moisture access along with a very strong southern jet streak in the upper atmosphere; classic of the deeper, more intense low pressure. It has been awhile since a true Gulf Low has affected the Lower Great Lakes and in fact, much of the country as most storms on the East Coast this winter have been Coastal Storm development with impulses originating from the West or Northwest. We saw numerous cousins of the Gulf Low over the Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas region during the severe winter of 2013-14 and late last winter.

All indication are the storm will take shape over Southeast Texas/Louisianan/Gulf of Mexico as an intense subtropical jet streak containing impressive winds of 120-130 knots at the higher levels of the atmosphere /250-300 MB, or 33Kft-35Kft/ and strong horizontal and vertical velocities. It's certainly without question; the most impressive low pressure/storm center projected to affect the region in this benign winter season, anyway!

Next will take a look at specific upper winds and storm tracks of the 12Z/022316 models along with and a little Weather Historian history.  Look for updates during the next few days on this impending storm!

Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian

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