update: Dangerous flash freeze is definitely in effect this night: take a closer look at the timeline
An early morning run of all computer models gives a very good timeline of snow progress. In addition, the total cumulative amount has also been reviewed.
The blizzard is still only three separate parts, but it will become one storm just above Michigan. The intensity peak at the storm center will reach over or just east of Lake Huron. This causes Lower Michigan to be covered in a hard, wind-blown snow.
Related: Storm Force Winds Sweep Great Lakes During Blizzard, Waves Could Exceed 25 Feet
Here’s the timeline until it starts snowing: There’s also growing concerns about a quick freeze, which I’ll update here separately.
It uses the North American model (NAM) which looks like all other models.
Snow will begin to fall on the western edge of Lower Michigan tonight at 6pm.
We will have several inches of snow in a few hours tonight. This means there is a good chance of snow tonight. The Detroit area won’t get snow until nearly midnight.
By Friday morning, most places will have 4 to 6 inches of snow, except southeastern Michigan.
Friday evening is clearly snowy Michigan.
The heavy lake effect starts Friday night and builds up on Saturday. Snow continues to pile heavily on the lake-influenced snow belt, with other areas gaining an inch or two on Saturday.
The snow forecast through Saturday evening points to one important development. An accumulated lake-effect snow band should extend across the southern third of Lower Michigan and provide several inches of snow to the Ann Arbor area and the northwestern suburbs of Detroit.
On Saturday night and Christmas Day, snow belts will have a few more inches of snow.
So the trend for early morning model runs is a few inches of rise in the Southeast Lower as the lake effect enters the area on Friday night and Saturday. Also note that in the Thumb and Saginaw Valley areas, we continue to see ideas for 7-10 inches of snow that are a few inches above yesterday’s idea.
The final map is fresh snow by the end of the lake effect on Monday morning. This is a blend of models and incorporates all the tweaks from all the latest models. It’s a great way to see rising or falling trends in local snowfall. The trend in the southern half of Lower Michigan is slightly upward, with increasing total snowfall.
Wind gust forecasts have not changed much, with gusts of 45 mph to 55 mph possible Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.
I would say that there are no major changes. The blizzard is still continuing.
Only emergency services are available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Related: National Weather Service: “Movement deteriorates rapidly Thursday night, quickly becoming dangerous”
Related: Is your winter emergency kit ready? 15 things you should always have in your car