Many people will be on the roads or in the air this weekend following the Thanksgiving holiday, and another winter storm could lead to major travel headaches.
A storm system will track across the Great Lakes region through the weekend, bringing all types of precipitation along with it. Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming until early Sunday. Winter storm warnings stretch across the Northern Plains and into northern Lower Michigan. This will likely lead to flight delays across the Midwest.
If you’ll be traveling across the state of Michigan this weekend, be prepared for rapidly changing conditions. A winter storm warning is in effect for much of the Upper Peninsula and the far northern part of the Lower Peninsula beginning Saturday evening and continuing into Sunday. Some cities impacted include Charlevoix, Petoskey and Alpena, where up to 9 inches of snow will be possible. Marquette could see 6 to 12 inches.
West Michigan will be the battleground between warmer and colder air. The line between rain and snow will likely set up in the middle of our viewing area, giving some communities a soaking rain and other communities a few inches of snow. Between the rain and snow, a band of freezing rain could lead to a few tenths of an inch of ice accumulation.
Scattered rain showers will be possible through the day on Saturday, and some snow or freezing rain could mix in at times. Overall, impacts during the daytime hours on Saturday will be fairly minimal.
A winter weather advisory will go into effect at 7 p.m. Saturday and continue until 1 a.m. Monday for Kent, Ionia, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Montcalm counties. The northern tier of counties could see 1 to 3 inches of fresh snow, while Kent, Ionia, and Muskegon counties will likely see an inch or less.
Of slightly more concern is the potential for a prolonged period of freezing rain overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. Areas under the winter weather advisory could see .2 to .4 inches of ice accumulation. Roads would become very slippery in areas that see freezing rain. Power outages would become likely due to east winds coming in at 15 to 25 mph overnight and toppling icy trees and wires.
Meanwhile, areas south of I-96 will be dealing with rain. A few rumbles of thunder could even be possible.
Dry air will temporarily settle in on Sunday morning before the chance of a wintry mix returns in the afternoon. Most precipitation should transition over to snow on Sunday as colder air wraps in, though this round of precipitation will likely not be as impactful as the freezing rain that is possible Saturday night.
Aside from a few chances of light precipitation next week, we will see the return of calmer and seasonal weather.