Weekend storm: All of mid-Michigan now included in ice threat
Updated information has come in on this Friday morning.
Let us continue and dive in to the newest data, the timing, the ice, and the power outage potential.
NEW WATCHES FOR EVERYONE
Winter storm watches have been expanded to include Shiawasse, Genesee, and Lapeer counties.
This now means ALL of our broadcast area are covered in winter storm watches, and we now all are included in a heightened threat of ice.
The watches already issued have also been extended to go further in to Sunday.
Warnings and advisories will likely be issued for the system later today, thus replacing the watches.
TIMING OUT THE STORM
Using our hybrid of weather models we can get a good idea of the timing and location for this system.
Southward shifts change the precipitation types a bit, but ice is still possible and the largest of the hazards.
Beginning overnight tonight the precipitation will ramp up and begin a change to frozen types.
By the morning hours Saturday we are seeing the freezing rain begin to move through and expand across mid-Michigan.
Only a few hours after sunrise we should start seeing a larger section of the region under freezing rain, and also sleet.
Sleet is important, because that would allow a cut in to the ice amounts.
Snow dominates areas up north while rain remains the largest impact further south.
By Saturday night, ice takes over much more widespread for the final blows against the region.
Freezing rain, sleet, some snow and rain mix together on Sunday leading to a dual threat for the weekend with hazardous travel and power outage potential.
Snow will accumulate 3-6 inches in our northern counties.
1-3 inches of snow through the bay region.
Around 1 inch of snow in our southern counties.
All snow amounts are for final totals by Monday.
MAIN THREATS AND ICE AMOUNT
The largest threat is the amount of ice and power outages possible because of it.
Wind will be quite strong, and this makes up for lower amounts of ice.
Sustained winds in the 20 mph range are likely with gusts up to 30-40 mph.
This will grab on to icy trees and power lines which would be weighed down heavily, and likely cause scattered to numerous outages in a worst case scenario.
Sleet cuts down on ice amounts, but increases road hazards as well in spots so while outages would be less, travel would still be highly impacted.
Total ice in the worst areas are likely to be 0.25" to 0.5" of ice which counts for an ice storm situation.
Isolated higher amounts are possible if sleet does not fall as heavy.
Flooding along rivers and streams along with in urban areas is also a possibility due to the heavy amount of precipitation.
2-3" of rainfall is likely (freezing rain si still rain after all) so be watching for areas of standing water.
Sleet can also clog up drains, so that would cause a flooding potential.
A third risk is along the shoreline in Bay county.
Strong northeast winds will push water through the Saginaw Bay and potentially throw water on land on the lakeshore.
Take precautions in case you live close to the water to avoid flooding damage to your property.
An ice storm still remains likely this weekend with a minor southern shift.
Wind added to the ice amoutns will have a heightened potential for numerous outages.
This is the time to prepare.
Make sure generators are fueld and work and make sure you have spare gas to run them.
NEVER RUN GENERATORS INDOORS OR NEAR OPEN WINDOWS.
Be sure to have some non-perishable food items in case you lose power for an extended period of time.
Have some fresh drinking water (bottled water) ready as well.
We will keep you updated today and through the event tomorrow as data continuously flows in.