Winter weather advisory: Details on freezing rain here

Winter Storm Warning for Sanilac County

DETROIT – The good news is that we’ll have a dry morning commute back to work.  The bad news is that the drive home is likely to be very sloppy. 

Mother Nature will be throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us today, so here’s how I see things shaping up,  and remember that everything I am telling you here is progressing across our area from south to north:  those of you in the south get it first, and those of you in the north get it last.

Sleet, possibly starting as a short period of snow, will cross the state line later this morning…probably between 10:00 AM and Noon and rapidly spread north. 

Remember that sleet are those little ice balls that make noise when they hit your windshield or windows at home…and if the sleet starts coming down hard, this by itself can slicken up the roads. 

Sleet and snow will continue moving north this afternoon, while the southern part of our area changes to freezing rain…drops of rain that fall and get things wet, which then freezes into a layer of ice.  This is my greatest concern today, as any substantial coating of ice on trees, combined with the strengthening east wind we’ll have this afternoon (15 to 25 mph, with gusts over 30 mph), could bring down limbs and cause power outages. 


My friends at the National Weather Service made a really good point this morning that I agree with:  those of you in eastern Wayne and Monroe Counties getting the east wind off of the warmer Lakes Erie and St. Clair may actually see your surface temperatures stay a little warmer, which could mitigate some of the ice build-up. 

This evening, the southern part of our area changes over to rain, while northern areas get a solid band of freezing rain.  The concern for those of you in Sanilac County is that you’ll get the longest period of freezing rain, with the potential for over a quarter-inch of ice accumulation on trees and surfaces.  This is why you are in the Winter Storm Warning, while all of our other counties are under the Winter Weather Advisory.  HOWEVER, all of you north of I-69 should stay extra alert. 

I NEED YOUR HELP:  please take photos of your sleet and ice accumulation and post them on Storm Pins.  Not only do you help us out here at Local 4 (and we put the photos on the air), but you also help out the National Weather Service…they monitor Storm Pins and your photos (and the information you type to go with the photo) helps them verify what’s happening and, on some occasions, even modify their warnings and advisories.

Everybody should change over to rain by 2:00 AM, which will continue through the rest of the night as temperatures rise above freezing.

Tuesday will bring scattered rain showers, with temperatures actually rising into the low 40s (6° Celsius for our Canadian neighbors), but don’t get used to it.

The rest of the week through the weekend, looks mostly cloudy and periodically breezy, with highs in the low to mid 30s (-1° to 1° Celsius), and overnight lows in the low 20s (-5° Celsius).  While there may be an occasional light snow shower, I don’t expect any accumulating snow through this upcoming weekend, which means that we’ll likely finish this month as both the 3rd least snowiest December on record, as well as the warmest December on record.

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