Winter storm hits Michigan: Ice, rainfall, snow estimates around the state

Major ice, flooding concerns around state

NOAA national map on Jan. 11, 2020. (WDIV)

A dangerous winter storm is moving through Michigan this weekend, bringing potentially catastrophic levels of ice, along with flooding rains and snow, depending on where you live in the state.

The storm started Friday evening and will last through Sunday morning.

Here’s a look at what to expect around the state.

Southeast Michigan

Get the latest forecast here from Local 4Caster Andrew Humphrey.

  • An Ice Storm Warning is in effect for Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Oakland and Sanilac Counties from 4 a.m. ET, Saturday to 7 a.m. ET, Sunday.
  • A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Macomb and St. Clair Counties from 4 a.m. ET, Saturday to 7 a.m. ET, Sunday.
  • A Flood Watch is in effect for Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties until 4 a.m. ET, Sunday.
  • A Lakeshore Flood Warning is in effect for the coast of St. Clair County from 7 a.m. ET, Saturday to 10 a.m. ET, Sunday.
  • A Lakeshore Flood Advisory is in effect for the coasts of Macomb and Wayne Counties until 4 p.m. ET, Monday.
  • A Flood Warning is in effect for small streams and urban areas north of M-59, including Oakland, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair, Sanilac and Genesee counties until 10 a.m. on Sunday.

West and Mid-Michigan

NWS: Travel conditions will deteriorate from north to south today as temperatures drop below freezing and rain changes to wintry precipitation.

Here are the expected storm total snow, sleet and freezing rain totals for today and tonight.

NWS Snow, freezing rain map. (WDIV)

NWS: Heavy rain this morning may lead to flooding of low-lying areas and rises in rivers. The highest risk is generally south of I-96 where most precipitation may fall as rain, and up to 1-1.5 inches of rain has already fallen. Further north, the risk of flooding is lower as precipitation should be frozen.

Much of the area will experience impactful freezing rain and sleet today, and the highest risk for significant ice accumulations in excess of one half inch looks to be in a corridor from Hastings to Lansing to Flint.

Highest ice threat map (NWS Grand Rapids) (WDIV)

Northern Lower Michigan

NWS: This morning’s wintry weather will diminish throughout the day before another round of more widespread snow arrives this evening through tonight. Gusty winds will lead to blowing snow and further reduced visibility leading to hazardous travel.

Another round of widespread snow is set to move into the region this evening through tonight. The snow may fall heavily at times and when combined with gusty winds will lead to hazardous travel with significantly reduced visibility. Additional minor icing is also possible across southeastern portions of the forecast area.

North to northeast winds will continue to remain gusty through tonight, leading to another round of lakeshore flooding impacts for portions of the Great Lakes.

NWS Gaylord snow map. (WDIV)

Lakeshore Flooding risks:

Lakeshore flooding. (NWS Gaylord) (WDIV)

Upper Peninsula

NWS: Expected snowfall through Sunday morning has decreased as a strong, arctic high pressure system remains off to the north of Lake Superior. This high pressure system will bring colder, drier air across Lake Superior today, bringing gusty winds and light lake-effect through the day. As commonly seen with arctic air, snowflake sizes will be slightly smaller, reducing visibility. Tonight, lows will fall into the single digits away from the Great Lakes, there is a chance some places fall below zero tonight if skies are able to clear.

NWS Marquette snow map. (WDIV)

Track the latest

You can monitor every aspect of this weekend’s changing weather -- wind, temperature, and precipitation type -- on the FREE Local4Casters Weather App. If you ever needed the nation’s best weather app, this is the weekend to make sure it’s downloaded onto your phone. Just search the app store under WDIV -- it’s right there.


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.