First Watch, Storm Thurs. Night

Perhaps we had a brief Winter Storm Watch earlier this season, if we did it was downgraded to an Advisory pretty quick.

Who would think we would see our first watch in mid February this season?

Anyway, Winter Storm Watches went out for southern and central lower Michigan about 4:30-5pm today. 24 hours earlier there was barely a scent of a storm on the horizon and boom, here it is. I was already planning to visit our weekly Current Weather discussion Dr. Peyrefitte holds. The newly modelled storm was icing on the cake. These sessions are great at any level because his explanations can be toned to any education level, and you learn some fantastic stuff! Thanks for holding them A.P.!

Swell of energy coming off the west coast earlier today will follow an elongated trough into the plains tonight. First takers on the snow will be South Dakota and Iowa through tonight/early tomorrow, Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin during Thursday, and finally southern and central Michigan Thursday night/Friday.

Forecast models are still bumbling to find the correct path at this hour. A few of them are going further south, but a distinct lift once the low hits the Ohio Valley will cut the low northeast. At this time it seems most of Michigan will receive a good bit of deformation snow as the low develops a negative tilt. (I wish that sentence was more common) In better English: Wrap around snows behind the system will become more widespread as the low pressure system reaches maturity and occludes(cold front catches up with warm front). On a surface map, (like you may recognize on The Weather Channel with the large H’s and L’s and red and blue lines) the northern precipitation field kinda resembles a ball. This produces a long drawn out snow as the storm exits.

Simple illustartion of an occluded, mature stage, northern hemisphere cyclone/ low pressure system.

Accumulation wise, I think the NWS prediction of 4-7 inches is a little much. I originally stated 2-4″ on facebook this afternoon, but since the storm is now on shore, I would say a healthy 3-6″ across central and southern Michigan. Pinpointing the highest amounts, the I-96 corridor looks like the sweet spot at this time.

May have another post on Thursday, excited now!


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 First Watch, Storm Thurs. Night

  1. Dad says:

    What a surprise! Did not know anything about this storm until about 30 minutes ago.
    Ready or not off we go. Glad to be home. Good job.

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