A powerful winter storm will move across Lower Michigan from Tuesday night into early Thursday. As a result a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for most of Southwest Lower Michigan from Tuesday night through early Thursday morning. This storm is expected to bring heavy precipitation and high winds to southwest Lower Michigan during that time. While the details are yet to be worked out, it looks like heavy snow or mixed precipitation will begin Tuesday night and impact the Wednesday morning commute.
At this time, it looks like the the storm will bring heavy snow north of I-96, with accumulations of 6 to 12 inches. Near and south of I-96 we expect the snow to change to sleet and freezing rain and maybe even just plain rain during the mid morning hours of Wednesday, and accumulations will be less. There could be a lull in the heavy precipitation for a time on Wednesday as a dry slot moves into southern Lower Michigan, but heavy lake effect snow could develop around the time of the Wednesday evening commute and last into Thursday. The big impact could be the strong winds, possible gusting to 40 to 50 mph at times Wednesday night. As arctic air blasts across Lake Michigan and temperatures plunge into the teens, a combination of dangerously low wind chills and whiteout conditions from falling and blowing snow could make travel Wednesday night and Thursday hazardous, especially along and west of US-131.
This map shows the forecast location of the strong storm center on Wednesday morning. Heavy snow is possible along with a mix to sleet or freezing rain for southern Lower Michigan. If the storm tracks further west, more rain or mixed precipitation will occur. If it stays further south and east, all precipitation will be in the form of snow and would probably be in the 6 to 12 inch range for much of Lower Michigan.