Complicated winter storm this week in Metro Detroit: What we know and don’t know (yet)

Winter storm watch has been issued for 9 counties

Weather impacts for Wednesday-Thursday storm in Metro Detroit (WDIV)

4Warn Weather – We’re tracking a winter storm event in Metro Detroit for later this week -- here’s what we know and what we’re still pinpointing to help you prepare.

What we know vs. What is still highly variable

  • The area between I-94 and I-69 is targeted to have the best chance at freezing rain and sleet resulting in the potential for significant ice accumulation.
  • South of I-94 to the state line shows a prolonged period of rain before the changeover to frozen precip happens Thursday morning. However, the most subtle shift in the surface temperatures will have huge ramifications on a rain vs. freezing rain event which will obviously result in a big difference for ice accretion there.
  • Two of our long-range models (Euro and GFS) are still projecting anywhere from .3″ of ice to almost an inch of ice in the area between I-94 and I-69. I personally think this is quite aggressive. The NAM model has it extremely downplayed to .1″ to .3″ This far out, the difference in these models really points to the high degree of uncertainty with surface temperatures.
4Warn Weather Ice Forecast (Euro Model) (WDIV)
  • Measurable snow will come from this system north of Pontiac where precipitation is expected to stay steady snow.
4Warn Weather Snowfall Forecast (WDIV)

It is plausible (even with the variables) that we will have an impactful system late Wednesday into early Thursday.

Increased confidence in all these variables will likely not arrive until we are 24 hours out due to when high-resolution models become available, so frequently check back with your 4Warn Weather Team.

Update: Winter storm watch issued for Metro Detroit later this week

Weather links

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About the Author:

Ashlee Baracy is an Emmy award-winning meteorologist who was born and raised in Metro Detroit. You can catch her 4Warn Weather forecasts weekday mornings, at noon and streaming on Local4+.