Details of winter storm scenarios for Thursday in metro Detroit
4 weather warning – I feel like you and I have reached a point where we can talk openly about something called the “rain/snow line,” and you will understand exactly what I mean.
We’ve talked several times this winter, in the early days before a storm, about getting an inch of snow or several inches of snow depending on where the rain/snow line falls. Well, “here we go snowing again,” folks!
Since it last snowed an inch or more here in southeast Lower Michigan on January 30, here’s a refresher on why the rain/snow line is important.
The storm system appears to be set to track directly along I-94 sometime Thursday morning. The northern edge of the storm will be cold enough to snow, while the warmer southern side will be a mix of snow and rain.
This is where forecasting total snow amounts becomes difficult, especially out 3 days.
As of Monday, a storm system is forming over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington and Oregon. That’s a long way off, and a lot could change as it makes its way across the northern United States over the next few days.
This is not a huge storm. The duration of snow and/or rain will only be about six hours. It’s all about timing and rain/snow line setting.
Look familiar? Trust me, I get it.
This is where things stand based on my data as of Monday evening.
Precipitation moves in from the west at sunrise Thursday morning, just after 7:30 a.m. Based on forecast temperatures at or slightly above freezing, most of what falls during the morning commute will be snow.
We will likely see a period of moderate snow, with heavy snow north of I-69. Current data indicates 2-5 inches, with the highest totals in the thumbnail.
Take a look at this shot of the European model at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Blue indicates all snow, pink is a mixture of rain and snow, and green is all rain.
Now look at the same pattern at 2 p.m. This rain/snow line has moved north, and part of the southern half of metro Detroit is all rain.
This is due to a wave of warm air moving in from the south, bringing our temperatures into the mid to upper 30s.
Over the next 48 hours, the 4Warn Weather team will be tracking data that will remain consistent with the current setting or perhaps the dreaded rain/snow line will move north or south.
Any move will lead to an adjustment in expectations.
On Tuesday, we will start getting more high-resolution data that is often better and more specific.
If you would like to follow the data with me over the next couple of days and track the storm, that sounds great! If you don’t have any interest and just want to know what you’re up against on Thursday morning, no problem.
The 4Warn Weather team along with the 4Warn Weather app has you covered!
On the plus side, spring is just over 35 days away!
Get the latest forecasts from the 4Warn Weather team here
Remember to download the free 4Warn weather app – it’s easily one of the best in the country. Just search your app store under WDIV and it’s available for both iPhone and Android devices! Or click on the appropriate link below.
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