DETROIT – Everything stays on track so far for our biggest snowstorm in seven years.
As you probably know by now, it is National Weather Service has issued one winter storm guard for all of southeast Michigan from Wednesday morning to Thursday evening. This should be a prolonged snow event, with significant accumulation possible.
Here’s what I expect after reviewing Monday afternoon’s computer model data:
Rain will develop either late Tuesday afternoon or early Tuesday evening. But as a cold front crosses the area and lowers our temperatures, the rain will shift to snow overnight Tuesday and the snow will become heavy Wednesday morning and continue until Wednesday night.
What is important to remember is that there are two parts to this snow event: the Wednesday snow and the Thursday snow.
The snow will not end, but it may get lighter at some point overnight until Wednesday before taking off again on Thursday as the potential second wave moves in.
There is still some uncertainty around Thursday’s piece, but we’ll have better confidence in that Tuesday.
The amount of snow in the area will be greatest in the south, where there is a possibility of 12-16 inches. The central part of the area (generally between I-96 and I-69) is likely to see 10-15 inches, and the northern part of the area is likely to be 6-10 inches.
Clearly, very small changes in the weather pattern can change where these amounts end up, and as with any snow forecast of this magnitude, do not just focus on the highest number of each area. A snowfall of this magnitude is not so common for us, so it requires that all the meteorological parameters be gathered exactly right to achieve the worst case scenario.
If you have not already done so and you have the ability, I strongly encourage you to make plans to work from home at least Wednesday and Thursday. If you have children, there is a high probability of snow days on Wednesday and Thursday, and probably Friday for some districts.
Remember that road staff have a priority list. Highways are top priority, followed by highways (such as the Telegraph, Grand River, Michigan Avenue, Woodward, Gratiot, etc.), followed by smaller surface streets, followed by neighborhoods.
Make sure you are prepared to retire for a few days, as it may not be until Friday or the weekend before some of the streets in your neighborhood are plowed.
Stay up to date on Local 4, ClickOnDetroit.com and Local4Caster’s weather app (best weather app in the country) to get the very latest. We’ve been all over this storm since last week and will keep you updated.