Winter storm to wallop Metro Detroit this week: Updated snow models, timeline

Snowfall begins Wednesday

The big focus for the next couple of days will be on our midweek Winter Storm here in Metro Detroit because this will be a two day snow event that will make life difficult and travel treacherous.

DETROIT – The big focus for the next couple of days will be on our midweek Winter Storm here in Metro Detroit because this will be a two day snow event that will make life difficult and travel treacherous. 

We are in the clear for the rest of today as that sunshine tries to warm us up, and it will be about five degrees warmer than yesterday. Highs today will be near 30F and the winds are light which keeps us out of wind chill problems.  There are some high clouds streaming across our skies but they are harmless, lacking any wet weather.

We will see temps drop down back through the 20s after the sun sets but instead of dipping overnight, our temps will stabilize or warm as mild air from the south scoots into Metro Detroit tonight.

Latest on this week’s snowstorm

We have brand new snow model data from a number of computer models and we will provide you with all of the latest information with this storm as it comes into the Local4Casters office which is about every six hours.

It’s very important that we not lock into any of the snow totals that we see because the numbers will be changing as we get closer and closer.

Also know that we should get through most of Tuesday without trouble but we will spend the day watching the Winter Storm on the move toward SE Lower Michigan and Southern Ontario.

Tuesday warm up with rain

Tuesday morning temps will be in the mid 20s with wind chills in the teens, and afternoon highs will be in the neighborhood of 40F under mostly cloudy skies. If we had another sunny day with light winds, those highs would be closer to 50F, but instead we have clouds and a pesky breeze that takes some of the warmth out of tomorrow’s warm up.  Those winds SSE 7-17 will gust 20-30mph at times Tuesday and will keep our afternoon wind chills in the upper 20s to low 30s.

The clouds will not only increase, but they will thicken as we get set to start this storm with rain. The newest model data brings the rain in a little earlier tomorrow between 4pm and 6pm from the south and west and we could see as much as a half inch of rain as the storm is just getting going.

So go get what you’ll need from the stores today or tomorrow but there’s no need to panic buy everything on the shelves. Also, prepare to slowly and routinely remove your snow so you’re not doing too much at once which is very hard on your body, especially your heart. It might be worth finding a few kids on your block to shovel and make a few bucks midweek.

Winter Storm Watch takes effect Wednesday -- what the models say

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Wednesday and Thursday for all of Metro Detroit.  That Watch will be upgraded Tuesday to a Winter Storm Warning from our National Weather Service office in White Lake, Michigan.  

The very latest computer snow model data has taken snow totals down but very slightly. The European snow model has Metro Detroit getting 10-16″ of snow total by Thursday night. 

Several different American computer models also scaled back the numbers from earlier this morning when they were spitting out two feet of snow or more in spots. Now, those same models are more in line with the European model as the GFS/American snow model calls for a healthy 12-18″ of snow south of 10 Mile, 8-12″ South of I-69, and only 4-8″ north of I-69. 

The NAM/American snow model throws a pretty consistent blanket of 12-16″ of snow down across all of Metro Detroit and Canada.

Remember, these are two day snow totals and you can count on at least 6-9″ Wednesday and another 6-12″ Thursday. 

We ask for your patience and understanding as things will likely change as we get closer to this storm. The big question mark right now is how long the snow stays on us Thursday and that will depend largely on the track of this storm which will be in much clearer view tomorrow.

If this forecast holds true, we will have added trouble on Thursday with gusty north winds in play helping to create blowing snow on the roads and big snow drifts. Temperatures will be in the upper 20s to low 30s most of Wednesday during the snow and then cooler teens to low 20s on Thursday with gusty cold winds.

The snow will move completely out of the area by Friday morning and, the arctic cold front bringing this Winter Storm will leave arctic air in its wake Friday as we start in the single digits with subzero wind chills and only warm into the mid and upper teens with a biting wind and gradually clearing skies.

The weekend stays cold too with subzero lows Saturday and highs near 20F in a nice mix of sun and clouds. Sunday is slightly warmer in the mid 20s but we should see more clouds to end our weekend.  

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