DETROIT – A winter storm watch goes into effect for all of Southeast Michigan from 7 a.m. Wednesday to 11 p.m. Thursday.
Welcome Monday, Motown.
All eyes are on a major snowstorm developing mid-week. In the meantime, we can enjoy fantastic and fantastic weather today and tomorrow. After work, extremely disruptive snow, cold and wind are on the table.
The calm before the storm
Let’s get to the easy part of your forecast with calm weather. Monday continues to be beautiful and seasonally cold. The afternoon will have blue skies. Tonight will be clear. Tonight becomes partly cloudy. Temperatures range from 30 degrees in the afternoon to 20 degrees at dinner time and close to 20 degrees at night.
Tuesday will be the mildest day of the week. Before any heavy cloud cover, a southerly wind will raise our temperatures to nearly 40°F.
We might as well call the coming major winter storm what it will be; Groundhog Day Storm of 2022. There are at least four different computer models that we, the Local4Casters, use to predict the weather for you. Three of them are from the United States. One is from Europe. All four (the US and European models) are in close agreement with the timing and results of this weather event.
Here is a timeline of what should happen from now on:
7 to 11 p.m., Tuesday: A cold front arrives, clouds form and rain begins to fall in Detroit and southeastern Michigan.
11:00 p.m. Tuesday to 4:00 a.m. Wednesday: Regular, cold rain falls on the region.
4:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., Wednesday: Rain turns to snow as the frontal system drags over the region and settles just to the south.
After 7 am and all day, Wednesday: Persistent light to heavy snowfall. Snowfall rates will be as light as an eighth of an inch per hour to as heavy as a half inch or one inch per hour.
Bottom line – the snow treadmill will be relentless.
By nightfall, 4-7 inches of snow will have fallen.
Wednesday evening: Continuous light snow continues to fall. 2 to 4 extra inches are possible; making the overall Groundhog Day snowstorm total equal to 6 to 11 inches early Thursday morning.
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday: Another round of light to heavy snowfall, and every part of southeast Michigan is vulnerable. An additional 3 to 5 inches of snow is possible which will make the overall storm total equal to 9 to 16 inches.
Note: there will be more wind on Thursday. Blowing snow is therefore an important factor, as it will be extremely difficult to clear snow from highways, roads, sidewalks and driveways. It will be extremely dangerous for anyone trying to travel.
6 to 11 p.m., Thursday: Windy weather with light to moderate snowfall. An additional 1 to 2 inches of snow is possible, which means grand totals for the 2022 two-day Groundhog Day snowstorm could be 10 to 18 inches. 10 to 14 inches are possible north of 8 Mile Road. 14 to 18 inches are possible south of 8 Mile Road, including the city of Detroit.
Falling temperatures aggravate problems
Falling temperatures and worsening wind chill mean frostbite is a serious concern for anyone unprotected.
As we are pounded by snow, temperatures will be in the low 30s on Wednesday and drop into the 20s and teens on Thursday. With increasingly wicked winds, wind chills will drop to single digits and below zero mostly in the middle and late action.
Then the real arctic explosion happens. Nighttime and early morning temperatures will be closer to zero on Friday and below zero on Saturday. Daytime temperatures remain in the teens each day. Wind chills will be as low as 10 degrees below zero.
The Local4Casters app is your absolute best weapon and tool to stay ahead of any kind of weather in Pure Michigan and around the world. It’s free!