Snow has settled into our area. The snow will continue to accumulate through early evening. The latest data trends show the top end of the snow forecast may not be reachable.
Here’s the radar forecast for today into tonight. Notice the breakdown of the snow pattern this evening. This is being caused by severe thunderstorms in the southeast U.S. The severe thunderstorms thwart the transport of moisture into the northern side of the storm. This will keep the snowstorm from becoming really robust.
It’s still a steady, solid accumulating snow. It’s probably what most of us would call a low-end snowstorm for southeast Michigan in late January.
Here is the most likely snow forecast from the computer model that usually is the most accurate when snowstorms are upon us. This model says it’s a 4 to 5 inch snow for Ann Arbor, the Detroit area and the eastern Thumb. This model is a “Rapid Refresh” model, meaning it updates every hour. It’s one of the only models we have that we can see a developing trend every hour. The other models run every six hours, and a trend could already have developed by the time we see the latest.
A good example of this lagging of the trend from a model is the forecast below. This is what I consider the second best model at this timeframe. It’s the North American Model (NAM) and runs every six hours. So you are seeing the latest as of right now, but comes from the run started at 1 a.m. this morning. We won’t get the latest from this model until late this morning.
So the forecast below would be the top-end potential of this snowstorm. It has 6 or 7 inches of snow in Ann Arbor, the Detroit area and the eastern Thumb.
So I’d plan on 5 to 7 inches of snow across our entire southeast Lower Michigan region. I also think the robbing of moisture to the south and the quicker breakdown of solid snow should make us expect more the lower end of the snow range.
The snow will be heaviest this afternoon and evening. Driving will obviously have the normal dangers of driving in a snowstorm.
Tomorrow morning should be dry and much safer to drive. The colder temperatures overnight will keep some snow-packed and icy stretches on our roads Thursday morning. It will still take you some extra time with a slower than normal speed to get somewhere Thursday morning.