update: Blizzard’s Thursday Afternoon Update: Snow Timeline, Latest Cumulative Update
Let’s take a quick look at some of the changes to the major winter storms from tonight through Christmas.
First of all, you should know that dramatic changes did not happen overnight. The timing of the blizzard is still very close to yesterday’s thoughts. Snowfall is slightly less in the lower center and several inches higher around Saginaw, Bay City and Sam. Gust numbers are unchanged for most locations, but have increased slightly across the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas.
Related: This massive blizzard will be a rare storm in Michigan
The first fundamental change to the Storm system is new data that indicates the Storm will go a little further. This means that the storm will continue to move slowly but steadily eastward. Models over the past few days showed that the center of the storm bombed Lake Huron and stalled him for six hours at Lake Huron on Friday. Currently, the storm is still bombing and making very powerful wind generators, but the center of the storm is expected to move just east of Lake Huron by Friday night.
So this short 6-hour exit from Lake Huron brings about 2 inches of snowfall forecast for state centers such as Lansing, Jackson, Alma, and Mount Pleasant. Total snow cover in Lansing used to look like 7 inches, now it looks like 5 inches.
Related: Storm Force Winds Sweep Great Lakes During Blizzard, Waves Could Exceed 25 Feet
The biggest shift in snowfall trends last night was an increase in snowfall around the Saginaw Valley, including Bay City, Saginaw, and Sam. All models show a burst of snow moving from Lake Huron to the Saginaw Valley and Thumb on Friday. This is what we call a “lake-enhanced” snow burst. A combination of system snow and lake effect snow. You’ll notice this in all the snow forecast maps I present, as all computer models show. Yesterday it looked like 5-8 inches around Saginaw Valley. Now I call it 6 to 10 inches, with heavier snow actually hitting Thumb from the east side of Saginaw and Bay City. can be a reason to emit Flint is on the brink of this increase in snowfall, but will likely stay with about 5 inches of snow cover, the same as yesterday’s forecast.
The west side of the state has the highest chance of snowfall, with a slight overall adjustment. Yesterday, west of Grand Rapids, he said 10 to 17 inches of snow fell extensively. I think it’s 10-15 inches now. System snow seems to take off a little faster to the east, while lake effect snow seems to be a little stronger.In western Michigan, snow can fall either by system snow or by lake effect. This is one of those times.
Related: National Weather Service: “Movement deteriorates rapidly Thursday night, quickly becoming dangerous”
A large area of the Northwest Lower, which includes the entire Traverse City area, appears to retain 12 to 20 inches of snow, for a total of 2 feet.
Here are the two most recent snow forecast maps that we believe to be the most accurate to date. The first is the National Blend of Models. Now we are taking all the models and using artificial intelligence to blend them. It turned out to be a very accurate prediction. You can see that the snowfall forecast has increased around the Saginaw Valley and decreased slightly in the central part of the state. The second map, an artificial prediction from NWS, shows these same two trends.
And now the National Weather Service’s snow forecast for Thursday, December 22nd at 7am.
And remember – this is still a blizzard and with all of the blizzards and drifts it will be difficult to get an accurate snow reading.
A slight change from yesterday includes a bit more of a dangerous freeze-thaw trend, but that’s confined to the southeastern part of Michigan. Temperatures around Detroit today will soar to 40 degrees. Precipitation will definitely begin this evening with cool rain, quickly turning to snow later this evening. So watch out for wet roads freezing to ice within minutes of turning to snow. This will likely be between 9pm and midnight throughout the Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, and Sam areas. Be aware of dangerous and despicable icing conditions on I-75 later tonight.
Gust forecasts remain at 45 to 55 mph for most of Lower Michigan. A subtle change is that gusts of up to 60 mph can be seen in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas. Therefore, the gust forecast is slightly higher in the southeast lower. The National Weather Service for southeastern Michigan has hinted at true blizzard conditions, but we don’t know if the three-hour criteria will be met or if there will be enough snow to trigger a blizzard. A few inches of snow could put the area into official blizzard conditions. Ultimately, Saginaw Valley and Sam may see a blizzard warning.
Therefore, there is no significant change in dangerous winter storms. We’ve made some small tweaks to make some aspects less dangerous and some more dangerous.
All in all, the safety message remains the same. Weather conditions will worsen rapidly overnight, with most areas likely to experience hazardous movement by sunrise on Friday. Weather conditions will worsen during the day on Friday, with heavy snowfall and high winds expected to be the most dangerous combination Friday afternoon through Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Keep an eye out for ongoing updates on the MLive weather page here.