Southeast Michigan dodges past winter storm, luck may change Wednesday

Local 4Caster Paul Gross: 1st real snowstorm of season may be coming

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist
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DETROIT - Southeast Michigan has thus far dodged this season's winter storms, but our luck is about to change

Wednesday's storm is just now moving onshore out west. 

It really isn't a storm yet...that process will take place in the lee of the Rockies, after which it will dip down toward Texas, pick up some Gulf of Mexico moisture, and then bring that moisture northeast in the form of snow (on the colder northern side of the storm).

Watch: 4Cast for Christmas Eve.

Here's how one computer model is handling it.  In this first image below, centered at Noon Wednesday, very light snow is just crossing the Michigan / Ohio state line.

This second image, at 5pm Wednesday, shows steady snow falling over the heart of Metro Detroit, but areas north of I-69 still seeing little or no snow.

This third image, at 10pm Wednesday, shows heavier snow falling across the eastern part of our area, with light to moderate snow elsewhere.  You'll also notice those yellowish lines now packed closer together across Michigan.  These are pressure lines (called isobars), and the closer they are together, the windier it gets.  By this time, we should be seeing 20-30 mph wind, with higher gusts.

This final image, at 4am Thursday, shows the heavier snow well to our east in Ontario, as light snow starts winding down across our area, although it's still windy.

Although forecasting snow amounts this far in advance is risky, if the storm pans out as I see it today, southeast Michigan should see a general 3-6 inch snowfall, with  the lesser amounts to the north and west, and the heavier amounts to the south and east. 

It's also going to become windy, so blowing and drifting snow will develop, too.

Read: SE Michigan counties appear ready for snowy, icy weather.

Travel conditions will deteriorate steadily Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night, and remember that the weather is coming this way from the south and southwest, so if you're driving on Wednesday, you'll be driving away from the storm if you head north, and into the weather if you're heading south and southwest.  Morning flights should be able to take off and land without any problems, but delays may develop during the afternoon and evening as the snow moves in and intensifies.

This storm is going to hit on a major travel day, so keep on your desktop and check back often if you have travel plans the day after Christmas.

Check the weather before you travel this holiday and keep an eye on Wednesday's potential for snow at

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