Snow n’ Cold

After a slow start to the snow season, a healthy coverage of snow has fallen. A few initial inches of snow fell for most of southern and central Michigan after a large storm moved through the Midwest on Dec 21. The winners during that storm were southern Wisconsin and Northern Michigan which picked up well over a foot of snow in parts.

Ground snow captured on visible satellite after the Midwest storm on Dec 20-21, 2012.

A day after Christmas, we received what was a glancing blow from a storm forming in the deep south and tracking up the Appalachian Mountains. These types of storms often look favorable to dump a significant amount of snow for Michigan. However, we often suffer a robbery of moisture. If conditions are favorable, the storm will redevelop off the east coast, thus displacing storm energy a few hundred miles east. This is a scenario that happens a lot, and computer models often overlook this in long-range forecasts.

Christmas storm radar imagery.

Compared to past instances if this storm type, I think SE Michigan faired well on the snow part. The deepest amounts showed up outside the  thumb as lake effect snows helped enhance snow totals. This snowfall also happened the night of Central’s bowl game at Ford Field in Detroit. That was an adventure on the roads! (CMU won, so that was icing on the cake!)

Total snow accumulations for SE Michigan.

This storm also brought storms producing tornadoes in the south on Christmas day. Luckily, no fatalities occurred, but plenty of people were injured in what could be the costliest Christmas day tornado outbreak.

The near future looks calm but cold. Overnight temperatures will start in the teens this week, but dip into the single digits by Wednesday and Thursday. Daytime highs will be in the teens. Many storm disturbances will pass well south of Michigan. These will roughly follow the jet stream as they develop in the south and exit the east coast a few days later. As these storms develop and move out to sea, it will help shift cooler temperatures south, and thus we get into stronger polar air. Bundle up, winter is here!


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

3 Responses to Snow n’ Cold

  1. Peyrefitte Jr, Ashton G says:

    And of course the big question is: are we going to see a new and improved Greg Cornwell for this coming New Year? Only our favorite weather blogger can answer that question.

  2. Pamela says:

    I can see why weather forecasting is so challenging. Many variables. While computers have helped us organize data and translate that into useful models, it sounds like it still takes first hand observation and lots of experience to do the job well! Similar to being a baseball scout. Can you tell I was just watching Trouble with the Curve with Clint Eastwood?

  3. Dad says:

    Happy New Year !!!!!!!!!!! We can all make a new start to improve and enjoy our skills in the year 2013 and beyond. The FORCE BE WITH YOU!!!!
    Nice blog Greg.

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