First Alert: Winter storm expected in Mid-Michigan Wednesday

1 month ago WNEM

SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A light snow has been moving through Mid-Michigan overnight and very early this morning. This is the precursor to the incoming winter storm for Wednesday and Thursday. Some roads are already slick, but we’re expecting conditions to deteriorate quickly heading into the afternoon as the storm ramps up. No matter what kind of precipitation you see, roads will be a mess everywhere!

The Winter Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning for the entire TV5 viewing area as everyone is expected to see wintry weather with major travel impacts. We also have a First Alert Weather Day for today and Thursday, our primary focus being the afternoon and evening hours Wednesday, also Thursday morning. Plenty of school closings have already come in for Wednesday, but these closings are because of the afternoon drive and not the light snow during the morning drive.

TV5 First Alert has issued a First Alert Weather Day for Wednesday and Thursday.TV5 First Alert has issued a First Alert Weather Day for Wednesday and Thursday.


Today through Thursday - First Alert Weather Days

Light snow moving through this morning has been able to bring a light coating of snow to Mt. Pleasant, the Tri-Cities, and the northern Thumb. In our northernmost counties where snow has been a bit heavier, totals are expected to land around 1″ to 2″ by the time the snow wraps up earlier this morning. If you have any travel especially up north this morning, you’ll need to add some extra time.

Wednesday morning is seeing a light snow, mostly up north.Wednesday morning is seeing a light snow, mostly up north.


There will be a lull in activity from around 7 to 8 AM this morning until around noon. By noon, the main activity from this storm will start to ramp up from the south. This will start as snow for the Flint and Tri-Cities areas, lifting northward. By mid-afternoon, some sleet will be able to start mixing in around Flint, Fenton, Grand Blanc, Owosso, and Lapeer. That sleet may be able to reach up to the Birch Run area. All-snow will remain to the north of there though. By mid-afternoon (2 or 3 PM), road conditions will already be deteriorating quickly.

Snow & rain split at 3 PM Wednesday.Snow & rain split at 3 PM Wednesday.


By dinnertime, that sleet will be able to reach little farther north into Ithaca and Alma, Saginaw, Frankenmuth, Caro, and the Central Thumb. Also at this time, we could start to see freezing rain materialize near Flint, Fenton, and Grand Blanc. Although the heaviest freezing rain and icing will be closer to Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Pontiac, there is certainly a chance some of that will reach into Genesee County.

Snow & rain split at 6 PM Wednesday.Snow & rain split at 6 PM Wednesday.


This same split of snow north with ice near Flint, then sleet in between, will continue into the evening and early overnight hours. Snowflake quality will be poorer between the Tri-Cities and Flint through this timeframe because of the warmer air aloft and sleet mixing in. This will be like last week where the snow is more of pellet than a flake, leading to heavy, wet snow rather than a fluffy, light snow.

Snow & rain split at 9 PM Wednesday.Snow & rain split at 9 PM Wednesday.


Some drier air infiltrating this storm overnight will allow for the snow and sleet to break up from time-to-time, but we still won’t see all precipitation coming to an end until later on Thursday night. Many slick and dangerous roads will be expected even into Thursday, especially in the morning hours. Keep an eye out for the possibility for school closings on Thursday too.

Snow and mix will become more scattered overnight.Snow and mix will become more scattered overnight.


Snow totals will be higher to the north, with the lower totals south largely owed to slightly warmer temperatures and the sleet that will mix in. Our map has remained mostly unchanged from Chief Meteorologist Chris Easlick’s Tuesday evening map, the biggest change just being an additional swath of lake-enhanced snow north of the Saginaw Bay around 8-12″+. That includes locations such as Harrisville, Glennie, Whittemore, Tawas, Alabaster, and Au Gres. We’ve nudged the 6-10″+ range south to include Standish and Clare. We made the same slight south adjustment of our 4-8″ range to include Mount Pleasant and more of Bay County, as well as highlighting the higher snowfall potential for the northern tip of the Thumb. 3-7″ can still be expected for most of the Tri-Cities and the Central Thumb (with some sleet mixing in), then 1-3″ for our southernmost cities with up to 0.25″ of ice from freezing rain.

This is a multiple day total for this winter storm.This is a multiple day total for this winter storm.


The lake-enhanced swath mentioned above is due to a northeast wind picking up some speed today. Expect that wind to sustain from 15 to 20 mph, gusting to 30 to 40 mph. The wind picks up the most during the afternoon and evening hours. That, along with water temperatures immediately offshore from Iosco and Alcona Counties around 32 to 34 degrees, will allow for minimal warm influence from the lake, only helping to feed into more snow from the added moisture.

Wind gusts pick back up out of the northeast.Wind gusts pick back up out of the northeast.


After this whole system passes, Friday holds quieter weather but colder temperatures. Take a look in your full TV5 First Alert 7-Day Forecast!

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