Winter storm alerts issued for Northern Lower Michigan, 5-10 inches of snow expected

Winter storm watch in effect for most of Northern LP

Michigan precipitation forecast from Friday-Saturday. Mostly rain for Metro Detroit. (NWS)

Parts of the Northern Lower Peninsula are under a Winter Storm Warning with a big snowmaker moving in this weekend.

The National Weather Service in Gaylord says, “Accumulating snow is expected to spread across northern Michigan late tonight into Saturday morning, falling steadiest late Saturday morning through early Saturday evening. Gusty northeast winds are also expected to result in areas of blowing snow.”

The main stretch of the storm will be Saturday and Saturday night with 5-10 inches of snow possible in heaviest areas. A winter storm warning goes into effect later tonight for areas including Ludington, Baldwin, Reed City, Clare, Hart, Fremont, and Big Rapids. A winter storm watch is in effect for most of the Northern Lower Peninsula, from Alpena to Traverse City.

“Gusty winds will accompany Saturday’s storm system, peaking between 10 AM – 10 PM. Isolated power outages may be possible when combined with wet/heavy snow,” NWS said.

NWS Gaylord forecast on Dec. 11, 2020. (NWS Gaylord.)

“Due to gusty northeast winds some flooding is possible on Lake Huron shores Saturday. Waves 5 to 9 feet combined with already high water levels may lead to beach flooding and erosion. There is potential for property damage as waves may completely submerge pier decks and boat docks,” NWS added.

Mostly rain in Metro Detroit

Metro Detroit will see mostly rain and milder temperatures this weekend.

Saturday forecast from Paul Gross:

The computer models remain very consistent that Saturday will be a rainy day for us here in southeast Michigan, and don’t be surprised if you hear a rumble of thunder! How 2020 would it be to get a December thunderstorm? Regardless if we get any thunder, we’ll likely see between three-quarters to one-and-a-half inches of rain -- much needed rain since our soil is very dry.

Mostly snow is expected north and west of a Bay City to Grand Rapids line, where 4 to 6 inches of snow is possible (a Winter Storm Watch has been issued there). Travel to northern Michigan will be very dicey on Saturday -- be sure to check the free Local4Casters app’s live radar to see exactly where the rain changes to snow -- the app’s radar display is color coded just like we show you on TV, so you can delineate between rain and snow. Even if you aren’t traveling, the app’s radar will be fun to watch on Saturday.

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.