Snow is a go. Big time.

For the most part.

The storm I mentioned last post has made a slight trend northward, and brought much of Southern Michigan into its cross-hairs. NWS has already taken the obligation into posting Winter Storm Watches for much of the Midwest and Great Lakes for a storm expected to impact Tuesday and Wednesday. This usually does not occur unless they are pretty confident on the storm.

I know most of the readers are interested in what to expect so I will hit those points early on:

Snow will enter the region from the south Tuesday evening into the night. Few showers are possible beforehand, but things really start picking up through the night. Heavy snow will surge over the region as ample moisture is in place. Snow rates will increase and dump most of the accumulation overnight into Wednesday. Much of central to southern Michigan may see up to a foot or more of snow. As this is happening, winds in the 20 to 30mph region will be present. This is an extremely strong storm and is not to be taken lightly. Plan accordingly and have a plan to start out with. Travel will cease, and school closing are almost a certain. Now is the time to stock on fuel, food, and emergency items. Do not wait for the last minute.

More in depth:

A Low pressure system will gain strength and deepen as it tracks out of the desert southwest over the early week. The low will then track northeast and pass over the Ohio Valley. A high pressure system dropping out of Canada will bring in a bracing shot of cool air at the same time, allowing the precipitation to be mostly snow in our area.

Low pressure located over Ohio with a High pressure system in the West

Total precipitation values will be huge for a single storm like this. This is truly a crippling storm for much of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. The NOAA HPC puts out QPF forecast or, quantitative precipitation forecasts, which show how much liquid equivalent is expected to fall. Match the colors on the map with those on the chart, and you can find how much rain you would receive (roughly). In our case this will fall as snow. To convert in normal circumstances, a rough 10:1 ratio (10 inches of snow for every inch of rain) can be applied. In other words, just move the decimal place one to the right. However, with cold air being in place, and other values forecasted to be right, higher snow ratios can be expected. Chicago is expected to receive upwards to two feet of snow from this storm due to high snow ratios in the area.

Match colors with those on the chart to find the liquid payload of the storm. However, this does not show exactly how much snow will fall.

Will have some model forecasts out tomorrow and nail the storm down some more. We do know it will dump plenty of snow in the area, so take action now to prepare.


About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

One Response to Snow is a go. Big time.

  1. Pamela says:

    Thanks for the warning. I will stock up on canned soup tonight and be prepared for loss of power. I couldn’t help but notice that the High/Low chart looked a little bit like Kermit grinning. I am looking forward to seeing some interesting photos of the resulting snowfall. Have fun sledding!


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