Wintry mess on tap for Saturday

Still watching another storm for next week

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - The Saturday forecast is still highly challenging, but I'm starting to get a handle on some of the details.

Any snow that develops Friday night should remain light. I don't expect much accumulation except south of Detroit, where some of you could pick up an inch. Snow will increase radically Saturday morning and become moderate to heavy. It's really going to be coming down for a while. You'll be impressed by what you see -- big, wet snowflakes coming down (and good "packing" snow for the kids to play in).

Saturday afternoon is the challenge: Enough warm air aloft will work its way in to create a mix at first -- snow, sleet, and possibly even freezing rain -- then a changeover to all rain for some. Best chance for this changeover is Lenawee and Monroe counties, with Wayne and Washtenaw counties still very much seeing a possibility of the changeover. As we progress farther and farther north of 8 Mile, we see less and less of a mix and more snow. Remember that the atmosphere above holds a certain amount of moisture that can be tapped for precipitation. If you take some of that moisture and drop it as ice or rain, that cuts down on the amount that falls as snow.

So, those of you farther north and west will see more of that moisture fall as snow. This is why the snow amount forecast is so difficult. My gut feeling right now is that a narrow band of 6 to 8 inches of snow will orient itself from Port Huron through the northern half of Oakland County and southern Genesee County through Livingston County and to the southwest from there.

As you go north of this band, amounts will slowly taper off (even though it'll be all snow) because we are moving farther away from the storm itself. South and east of that band, snow amounts will taper off because some of the moisture will fall as ice or rain. Highs should reach the upper 30s down near the state line up into southern Washtenaw and Wayne counties, and mid 30s farther north.

Wow, this was a lot to write, but I hope you now have a handle on Saturday's weather. Needless to say, it's going to be a nasty day for travel, but always remember that very small changes in the storm track can have very dramatic changes in the weather you get. I will be working all of the Local 4 newscasts this weekend, so check in with me Saturday morning starting with Local 4 News Today at 6 a.m. for the very latest.

Snow ends Saturday night, then partial clearing late at night. Lows in the low 20s.

Partly cloudy to mostly sunny on Groundhog Day, with highs in the mid 20s. Punxsutawney Phil is in the middle of his hibernation and does not want to be disturbed, but he gets a hefty paycheck so they'll wake him up and drag him out of his condo. You can see the whole pomp and circumstance on Sunday morning's Today Show on Local 4.

Mostly sunny and cooler Monday, with highs in the upper teens.

Partly cloudy on Tuesday, then increasing clouds. A chance for snow late in the day. Highs in the low 20s.

I'm still watching the potential for another snowstorm on Wednesday. The upper level disturbance that will cause this storm to develop is still over the Pacific, so we won't start getting more reliable projections from the computer models until it's over the continent. Today's models continue yesterday's trend of bringing some accumulating snow into southeast Michigan. I can't even speculate how much at this point, but keep next Wednesday "on your radar" for possible snow issues. It's going to be a windy day, with highs in the low 20s.

Check in with me on Local 4 News at 6 this Sunday night (right before the Super Bowl kickoff) or after the game at 11pm for the latest on this storm.

This is going to be a fun storm to watch on radar. Download our FREE weather app now so you can see where the snow is transitioning to a mix or rain…the radar display is really cool. Just search for WDIV in the app store and you'll see the Local 4Casters app.

And remember that you can always follow me on Twitter at @PaulGrossLocal4!

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.