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.