The winter storm we discussed previously is close enough now for the NWS to make some predictions. I’ll recap what we can expect over the next several days:
Starting tonight, we’ll see rain showers and cloudy, foggy conditions. Wednesday — Christmas Even — will be quite rainy, with a high temperature in the upper 40s or low 50s. Wednesday will also see wind start to pick up, and as we move into Wednesday night it’ll be rainy and wind gusts could reach 40-45 mph. Wednesday night it’ll be cooler; we might get some light snow overnight.
Christmas Day, we shouldn’t see much precipitation, but it’ll be breezy and cooler, with temperatures in the 30s.
Details are murky at this point, but Michigan will probably see strong wind, rain/freezing rain and snow between Monday night and Wednesday, and into Christmas Day.
Starting Monday night, a weak storm system is expected to develop over the northern plains and be absorbed by a stronger system moving up from the south.
The timing, location, track and intensity of this storm are difficult to estimate accurately at this time, but the Great Lakes region can expect to see the strongest part of the storm. Earlier in the storm — Monday night or Tuesday — we’re likely to see heavy, cold rain, and on Wednesday into Christmas Day we can expect some snow accumulation. Gusting wind will make it difficult to keep roads clear and blowing snow will affect visibility for drivers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you’re planning to travel next week, keep an eye on weather forecasts. Plan to travel on Monday, before the storm is predicted to hit southeastern Michigan.
ArborWX will track this as it develops; follow @ArborWX on Twitter for more frequent updates than are posted on the blog.
The outlook received from the Washtenaw County EOC follows.
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
VIA WASHTENAW COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
251 PM EST FRI DEC 19 2014
A POWERFUL WINTER STORM IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE
EASTERN UNITED STATES ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. ITS IMPACTS
INCLUDING HOLIDAY TRAVEL...WILL BE FELT IN THE GREAT LAKES
REGION FROM TUESDAY INTO CHRISTMAS DAY. THERE IS
CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY IN THE EXACT TRACK AND EVENTUAL
STRENGTH OF THIS STORM. THESE UNCERTAINTIES COULD HAVE A
DRAMATIC AFFECT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE WEATHER FOR
SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN FROM TUESDAY TO CHRISTMAS DAY.
AT THIS TIME...THE STORM IS EXPECTED TO BE STRONGEST OVER
THE GREAT LAKES REGION. THE MOST LIKELY WEATHER HAZARD FOR
SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN FROM THIS POWERFUL STORM IS THE POTENTIAL
TO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT WIND GUSTS FROM TUESDAY NIGHT INTO
CHRISTMAS MORNING. SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN HAS THE POTENTIAL TO
SEE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL ON THE WARMER SIDE OF THE STORM
FROM TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY...BUT ALSO HAS THE POTENTIAL
FOR SOME SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ON THE COLDER SIDE OF THE STORM
FROM LATE WEDNESDAY INTO CHRISTMAS MORNING.