Pre-Christmas winter storm: When to expect rain in Metro Detroit, and when it will change to snow

Snow expected all day Friday, into Saturday

The weather radar for Michigan on Dec. 22, 2022. (WDIV)

DETROIT – A major winter storm is heading toward Metro Detroit this weekend, with rain expected to turn into snow that lasts through Friday and into Christmas Eve.

UPDATE: SE Michigan winter storm timeline breakdown, snow total predictions, flash-freeze concerns

Here’s the latest 4Warn Weather forecast from Brett Collar, as of 2 p.m. Thursday.

Rain arrives in afternoon

Precipitation will start to move in Thursday afternoon and continue through the evening, mostly as rain.

Some snow may mix in, mainly in the West and North zones, but for the most part, the majority of what falls this evening will be rain.

When does rain change to snow?

Rain will change over to snow from west to east this evening and into tonight. This will in the West Zone around 9 p.m. Thursday, and should be completed near Port Huron by 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. Friday.

Overnight, all precipitation will be snow.

Heavy snowfall

Heavy and steady snow will fall overnight and through most of Friday. By the time we wake up in the morning, snow will range from 2-6 inches, with highest totals being in the West Zone.

Snow continues to fall through Friday and during parts of Saturday, as well. Even Christmas Day will feature a few snowflakes flying, but the widespread heavy snow will be gone by that point.

When we wake up Christmas morning, storm totals will range from 5 inches to near 9 inches, with the higher totals being in the West and North zones.

Winds pick up

Winds kick up Thursday night, but they will be at their highest Friday, with gusts over 50 mph.

On Saturday winds will still be strong, gusting over 40 mph.

Sunday will be breezy, with winds gusting to near 30 mph, at times.

Because of all the snow and the strong winds, blowing snow is a concern through the early part of next week.

Bitter cold

A big drop in temperatures is expected overnight. We’ll be in the 30s around midnight, then wake up Friday in the teens around sunrise.

Temperatures will fall through the day Friday, down into the single digits in the evening and overnight.

With strong winds, it’s going to feel anywhere from 5-20 degrees below zero on Friday night.

Saturday and Sunday will feature highs in the upper teens, but with gusty winds, temperatures will feel like they’re below zero Saturday, and in the single digits Sunday.

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