UPDATE: (Monday 8:07 a.m.) Consumers Energy is reporting that approximately 85,000 Consumers Energy electric customers are without service because of the winter storm. The areas hit the hardest are on the west side of the state. Only Midland (with 170 outages) was affected in the NBC25 viewing area. If you have an outage, call Consumers at (800) 477-5050.
UPDATE: (Monday 6:03AM) The snow has tapered off to just flurries. The blowing snow will occur in the open areas and by large, empty fields and will be problematic with some drifting. Winds out of the NE will be sustained at 10-20mph with gusts of 30 to 35mph near the Lake Huron shorline. Snow totals coming in now seem to suggest Houghton Lake/West Branch/Tawas have 5 to 6 inches, Saginaw Valley have 7 to 9 inches, the Thumb is 4 to 7 inches and along I-69 we have 7 to 10 inches! This snow is taking much more effort to plow and shovel, we'll drop down in the single digits and it will freeze up and create another problem for drivers on Tuesday morning!
UPDATE: (Monday 3:20AM) The snow has been heavy all night with all roads very difficult to pass. This event has had a crippling effect on the area in regards to commerce and education. Roads are actually worse today than in our last blizzard due to the weight of the snow and the difficulty of plowing and shoveling. We will see most of the snow begin to taper off just after sunrise. We are looking at a small, secondary round during the midday/afternoon hours. This would only provide and additional dusting. Here is a list of snow totals so far:6:35 AM SNOW 5 SW SAGINAW 02/20/2011 M8.7 INCH SAGINAW 15 HOUR TOTAL.6:35 AM SNOW CLIO 02/20/2011 M8.5 INCH GENESEE 15 HOUR TOTAL. 1153 PM HEAVY SNOW FLINT 02/20/2011 M6.3 INCH GENESEE 10 HR TOTAL.1209 AM SNOW CORUNNA 02/21/2011 M6.0 INCH SHIAWASSEE 10 HOUR TOTAL.1213 AM SNOW ROMULUS 02/21/2011 M8.2 INCH WAYNE 11 HOUR TOTAL AT DETROIT METRO AIRPORT.1213 AM SNOW FLINT 02/21/2011 M6.3 INCH GENESEE 10 HOUR TOTAL.1220 AM SNOW 3 SW FLINT 02/21/2011 M6.0 INCH GENESEE 10 HOUR TOTAL.0130 AM HEAVY SNOW 2 W LAPEER 02/21/2011 M8.0 INCH LAPEER 12 HOUR TOTAL.0207 AM HEAVY SNOW BRIDGEPORT 02/21/2011 M7.1 INCH SAGINAW 1014 PM HEAVY SNOW 6 E MOUNT PLEASANT 02/20/2011 M4.2 INCH ISABELLA
UPDATE: (Sunday 9:47pm) About half of the snow storm is now over, and amounts are fairly uniform between 4 and 6 inches. The snow will continue overnight, varying now in intensity between light and heavy. So it will become more spurts of snow. The wind will continue out of the northeast at 15 to 25 mph, producing blowing and drifting. The snow should taper off some in the morning. One thing we are watching is a second piece of the storm which is now in Minnesota. That upper level low pressure could move across our area Monday and Monday night causing the snow to pick back up in intensity. We'll of course keep an eye on that for you. Right now we expect another 3 to 6 inches of snow to fall during the rest of the storm. Put that on top of the 4 to 6 inches already fallen, and snow totals across most of Mid-Michigan should range between 7 and 12 inches. The far northern areas north of M-55 will total out less at 4 to 7 inches. Stay safe if you have to drive, watch NBC25 newscasts for updates, and continue to check here at www.connectmidmichigan.com.
UPDATE: (Sunday 4:35pm) Snow has begun across much of mid-Michigan. Already an inch and a half of snow in just an hour's time has been reported in Flint and the heaviest has yet to arrive. Look for snow to intensify into the evening hours lowering visibilities to near zero at times. Blowing and drifing snow will be an issue overnight and into tomorrow. Amounts look on track with slight adjustments to possibly be made to the forecast map to adjust for trends but nothing major. Still looking at 8-12" totals by the time all is said and done late in the day on Monday for Flint and Saginaw and areas east and west. US-10 northward will see impacts from this storm but amounts will drop off into the 4-8" range, and less than that north of M-55. South of I-69 will see a sharp cutoff in amounts as you head into southern Livingston and Oakland counties, but that won't mean less of a problem. Sleet and freezing rain becomes the main issue for metro Detroiters. Latest trends are indicating it could snow for much of the day on Monday as well, but with less intensity, meaning it will be awhile before we get things cleaned up.
UPDATE: (Sunday 8:30am) The storm is knocking on our door. Morning should be fine for travel but once we get into the early afternoon it gets a bit more dicey, as snow could begin as early as noon along the I-69 corridor and 2-3pm in and around the Tri-cities region. 1-3" is still a good number through this evening and then the snow becomes heavy. This will be a heavy and wet snow consistency meaning it will blow and drift less than the last system (but still will) and will be more likely to bring down limbs and power lines as 8-12" accumulate through noon Monday. Up to 1/4" of ice could accumulate south of I-69 during the evening hours Sunday with a wave of sleet and freezing rain, bringing snow totals down to the 4-8" range, but snow will be the main issue for all of mid-Michigan, while ice (and lots of it) will create extremely dangerous conditions in metro-Detroit and Lansing. Doing live updates from 8am-9am during the Today show on NBC 25 tune in for the latest, and again tonight on NBC 25 News at 6 and 11.
UPDATE: (Saturday 10:15pm) The new round of data is coming out now. No indications of major changes yet. One thing to note, however, is that the potential of a MAJOR ICE STORM for the I-94/I-96 corridors is looking more and more likely. That means much of the metro Detroit area, Lansing, Ann Arbor and possibly Kalamazoo on the west side of the state. Some of the latest information is indicating 2/3" of ice accumulation or more might be possible for some of these areas Sunday night. It remains to be seen how much of this freezing rain will work it's way into the I-69 corridor, but it still looks like snow is going to be the main precip. type for most of mid-Michigan.
UPDATE: (Saturday 4:15pm) The lastest updates show 7-11" of accumulation for much of the viewing area, with lower amounts north of M-55 and south of I-69. The lower amounts south will be mainly due to brief mixing with sleet and freezing rain at storm's onset. Still a solid 6-9" can be expected for Owossa, Flint, Davison and Lapeer with the higher amounts in the Tri-Cities and thumb.
UPDATE: (Saturday 1:00pm) Well the storm is definitely still on track. In fact, the trend is for the possibility of even more snow than the graphic shows. Meteorologist Kevin Usealman will be updating that for you in a few hours. I'm now thinking that most of the area will receive between seven and eleven inches of snow! The far southern parts of our viewing area, south of I-69 could still have some freezing rain mixed in for a few hours. This would lower the amounts south of I-69, but not by much, giving southern Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee counties between five and eight inches. I'd lean toward the highers amounts in that range. The snow will start between 10am and 2pm Sunday, and should be heavy by 6pm to 8pm. The snowstorm should be over by noon to 3pm Monday. Although winds won't be quite as strong as in Snowpalooza, the winds will be strong. This will produce dangerous blowing and drifting. The snowfall will be on par with the February 2nd blizzard. Be careful and definitely check back here and on NBC25 as we fine tune the forecast.
Another strong storm system is moving onto the West Coast Friday Night. Although it's still a big distance away, our data is consistent in bringing us another snow storm by Sunday into Monday.
The low pressure center (that's the big red L on our weather maps) is expected to track across northern Indiana and Ohio. That is a perfect track for a snowstorm here in Mid-Michigan. The temperatures may be warm enough aloft to change the snow to freezing rain along I-69 and points southward. In fact, the farther south you go into southern Michigan, the larger the amount of freezing rain and ice accumulation. We'll keep you updated here on connectmidmichigan.com as the storm approaches. Right now plan on the snow starting midday Sunday and ending midday Monday. Check out the map to find out how much snow may fall at your house. Remember, there may need to be some adjustments to this snow forecast, so check back a few times each day.
Let us know which storm you think was worse. Vote below!