After the warm up on Wednesday, we can expect a quick return to winter-like conditions and the potential for another messy commute.
After calling for patience as forecasters determined what may be coming, the outlook for the snow has prompted the issuance of a winter storm warning by the National Weather Service. It will start at 3 p.m. Thursday and expire at 3 a.m. on Friday.
The forecast calls for some areas to see up to six inches of snow.
“Travel will become very difficult,” the NWS stated. “The hazardous conditions will impact the Thursday evening commute.”
As of Wednesday evening, the outlook on potential freezing rain or an icy mix saw it in the areas south of I-94.
On Wednesday morning, forecasters were paying close attention to the coming weather, having already issued three alerts, including:
• Wind advisory, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday
• Areal flood watch, from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday
• Winter storm watch, 10 a.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday (Upgraded to a warning, which starts at 3 p.m. Thursday)
The best advice you can share is to keep an eye on the weather reports throughout the following days.
First the good news in metro Detroit: We’ll get a taste of spring on Wednesday. The high temperatures will reach into the upper 40s.
But the day will turn cloudy and windy, Accuweather.com warns.
And along with the taste of spring could be some rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.
That forecast has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood watch from 4 a.m to 4 p.m. Thursday. This means there is a potential for blooding based on the recent forecasts.
“Monitor the latest forecasts and be prepared to take action should a flood warning be issued,” the NWS said in a Tuesday afternoon Facebook post.
The NWS says that 1 to 1.5 inches of rainfall could accumulate across Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties – as well as areas southward. Flint also could see similar rain amounts.
North of Oakland and Macomb counties, the area could see .5 to 1.0 inches of rainfall.
The quiet — and pleasant sunshine with the upper 20s temps — of Tuesday will give way when a large system moves into the area on Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported.
“An all rain start transitions to wintry mix and snow Thursday,” the NWS reported. “System track still carries a great deal of uncertainty which will affect the transition timing/location and subsequent snow/ice totals.”
As the temperatures climb into the 40as, winds will increase into the 40 mph range by Wednesday afternoon. This is followed by a cold front that moves to the area overnight, changing the rain to snow — after a period of wintry mix.
The weather service emphasized that the specifics in possible freezing rain and the potential amounts of snow depend on how the storm system and cold front tracks. So again, you are advised to keep your eyes on the latest forecasts so you don’t get caught out and about with the weather turning severe.
On Thursday, the rain will give way to snow after a potential period of a wintry mix.
The winter storm watch provides details of what we could potentially see, including up to a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation in the area south of M-59. Early predictions from the National Weather Service see a possible 4 to 6 inches of snow in the area between I-69 and I-94.
On Sunday, a winter weather advisory proved accurate for a part of the area, causing about 160 cars and trucks to be involved in multiple crashes along I-696 in both Oakland and Macomb counties.
Some forecasts have called for up to six inches of snowfall, but the areas have varied, some more northward into mid-Michigan and Flint with some more through northern Oakland and Macomb counties.
Other forecasts have seen the possibility of a little bit of an icy mix followed by 1-3 inches of snow.
And being the middle of winter in Michigan, things are a little more normal on Friday with some sun expected and cold as temperatures could stay in the lower 20s.
For the weekend, Accuweather.com sees a cold and sunny Saturday, with temps again in the low- to mid-20s, with Sunday looking breezy and a little warmer with a high possibly reaching into the 40s.
More good news is ahead though, as Sunday could be the start of three or four days in a row in the 40s.
But for now, while waiting for the latest weather reports, you can crack open a window and enjoy the warmth and preview of spring.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism