DETROIT – It never fails: Some people see somewhere on the Internet/Facebook/Twitter specific snow totals for a “big storm” -- four days in advance -- and start asking me about them.
I’ll say it again: ANYBODY who tries to give you specific snow totals (or tries to pin down a rain / ice / snow line) multiple days before a storm is either not a certified meteorologist, or is an alarmist and should be ignored.
Even though I’m usually the first to alert you about a potentially significant storm on the horizon, I will NOT fine-tune the details until I am reasonably comfortable with the way the computer models are handling the system, and that process of models converging on a solution normally doesn’t even begin until the upper level system crosses the west coast and can be studied by our radiosonde (weather balloon) network.
Alright, now that that’s off my chest, let’s get on with our forecast:
Clouds will increase tonight, with a bit of light snow possible for part of the area between midnight and dawn. Those of you who do get snow (not everybody will), should only see a dusting -- perhaps a bit more accumulation along the I-69 corridor.
A cold front is crossing the area late this afternoon and early this evening, with a brief period of strong wind gusts possible with its passage and immediately behind it. Since some gusts to 45 mph are possible, the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory until 7:00 PM. Wind should then settle down overnight, with increasing clouds.Lows in the mid 20s (-4° Celsius for our Canadian friends). Northeast wind at 5 to 10 mph.
Tuesday’s sunrise is at 7:08 AM.
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Snow may continue during the morning hours along and north of I-69, and will increase across the rest of southeast Michigan during the afternoon. By noon, the lead edge of the advancing snow should be roughly along a line from Port Sanilac to Holly to Brighton.
By 5:00 PM, snow – some of it heavy – will cover our entire area, so the afternoon rush hour could be a mess. Some models show the possibility for some sleet or freezing rain to mix in south of 8 Mile during the afternoon, and I’ll discuss below that impact on snow totals.
Those of you who are real skittish about driving in snow may want to consider sliding your work day a few hours earlier -- get in earlier, and leave by early afternoon. Tuesday’s high will be near 30° (-1° Celsius), with a northeast breeze at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday’s sunset is at 6:24 PM.
Snow will continue through Tuesday evening, and should end around midnight.
Right now, it appears that a general 4” to 6” snow total should suffice for most, IF the precipitation stays all snow.
Snow forecast if precipitation stays all snow
My only uncertainty is if any sleet or freezing rain mixes in south of 8 Mile Road -- as I explained last week, that would cut into the snow totals in that area. Here’s how snow totals may look if some of that ice makes it across the state line and into Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe and Lenawee counties:
Snow forecast if sleet or freezing rain mixes in south of 8 Mile Road
Beyond this storm, things stay relatively quiet right through the weekend. We’ll remain chilly for a few days, and then get ready for a big warm-up next week – 50s and 60s will return!