Rain, snow, winds: Breaking down dangerous pre-Christmas winter storm in SE Michigan

Snowfall, winds expected all day Friday, Saturday

National Weather Service outlook map on Dec. 20, 2022. (NWS)

4Warn Weather – Here’s your 4Warn Weather forecast for the week leading up to Christmas in Metro Detroit.

UPDATED: Severe winter storm to hit Metro Detroit before Christmas: Snow total predictions, timeline

Late Week/Weekend Storm

🌧️ Rain

  • The onset of this system will likely be rain, but a few flakes may try to mix in a little here and there. This will probably be just before sunset Thursday.

🌨️ Snow

  • As the sun sets and colder air filters in, the rain changes over to snow. This will likely take place overnight Thursday into Friday, from west to east.
  • By daybreak Friday, all is snow and it’s coming down good. This steady and heavy snow continues through the day Friday and overnight as well.
  • Snow continues to fall most of Saturday, and even parts of Christmas day will feature a few snow showers.
  • By the time all is said and done, a good amount of snow will be on the ground, but there are still some differences among long range models. Right now we’re leaning towards areas closer to Lake Erie have a few inches, maybe up to half a foot. But the higher totals look to be further inland especially in the west and north zones, where a foot of snow could be possible.

🌬️ Wind

  • Thursday winds start to pick up, but it’s Friday that we see the strongest winds.
  • Gusts Friday will at times exceed 50mph.
  • Saturday they’ll still be high, gusting over 35mph.
  • Sunday gusts will be over 20mph.

🥶 Cold

  • Behind this front an arctic airmass moves in, giving way to bitterly cold temperatures.
  • It’s going to feel well below zero most of Friday.
  • Wind chills both Saturday and Christmas day will be below zero in the morning, and in single digits in the afternoon.

Other Headlines

  • Winter starts tomorrow
  • The winter solstice is at 4:47pm Wednesday.

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