DETROIT - Thus far, the latest winter storm is panning out as expected this morning. Heavy snow crossed the area and now reports of sleet, rain and freezing rain across parts of the metro area mainly south of 8 Mile are rushing in.
As of 1:30 p.m., Weather Watcher Steve Sobel is reporting sleet in Farmington. Posts on the Local 4 Facebook page say sleet and freezing rain are making it farther north into Oakland and Macomb counties, including Novi, Pontiac, Warren and Sterling Heights.
Check: Snow emergencies
Remember that this is a heavy, wet snow – a far cry from the light, fluffy, powdery snow we've received most of the winter. Do not try clearing this snow off by yourself if you are elderly, have a heart condition, or are not in good physical health. It's going to be very strenuous work clearing this type of snow and it could trigger a heart attack.
The overall pattern should continue through the afternoon.
This evening, as low pressure slides to our south and then to our east, colder air will ease back into the area, and transition the sleet and rain back into snow. Areas that get all snow are still on track for a total of five to seven inches. Areas that also get sleet or rain will see a couple less inches.
The major concern overnight is not the accumulation, but temperatures dropping well below freezing. This won't be much of a problem if you only get snow. However, for those of you who also get rain this afternoon, you will see the wet, sloppy, slushy mess freeze into a hard crust of icy crud. It's going to be nearly impossible to remove this stuff tomorrow, so my recommendation (IF you are in good physical condition and can shovel your own snow) is to get this stuff off your driveway and sidewalks tonight.
Sunday should be a dry day, with increasing sunshine and highs in the upper 20s.
As for the Tuesday-Wednesday night storm, a quick peek at the new long range charts (just coming in early this afternoon) suggest no changes: the storm should stay far enough away to keep the heaviest snow amounts in Ohio, but be close enough to give us some accumulation. The upper-level disturbance that will eventually cause this storm to develop is still over the Pacific, so a clearer prediction will surface when it finally hits the continent and can be studied by our weather balloon network.
As I always say: stay tuned, changes are possible.
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