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Weekend snow watch: Storm approaching southeast Michigan could bring biggest snow of season beginning Monday

Snow
Posted at 9:07 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 21:07:18-05

(WXYZ) — The biggest snowstorm of the season is possible early next week. A wide variety of possible solutions seems to be narrowing in on a start late Monday and an end sometime on Tuesday.

There is also more confidence now in the heaviest snow, no matter how much, impacting areas around Detroit and south rather than the suburbs north of M-59.

First, a weak area of low pressure should bring light snow to southeast Michigan Sunday. Amounts look to be around a half-inch to an inch during the day and into the evening. That is not a lot of snow, but it could stick a little to the roads with the colder temps on Sunday in the 20s for most of the day.

The forecast for Monday is not as certain yet. A stronger storm moves in from the southwest.

Storm systems that come from the south have more moisture, so even though the storm center is expected to track south of us, across the Ohio River Valley, a large band of snow on its northern edge could still cover most of lower Michigan.

The strength of the storm system, how far north it tracks, and the timing of the day it arrives are all key in determining snow amounts in southeast Michigan.

We are more confident now than early in the week, but the storm's main impact is still about 4 days away. Small differences in the factors mentioned could mean large differences in snow amounts.

Here are some trends. The heaviest band of snow looks like it will end up running through the four southern counties of Wayne, Lenawee, Monroe, and Washtenaw. The amounts there could end up being the biggest snow totals of the season so far at 4"-6".

The lightest snow totals should end up north of M-59. The northern part of the snow should taper off quickly in this northern area.

The snow should get started late in the afternoon on Monday and last through at least midday Tuesday. The heaviest snow rates and accumulation should come overnight Monday through the Tuesday morning commute.

We will constantly get new information about the storm all weekend as it moves from the west to Oklahoma and then northeast closer to us.

The takeaway is that we are expecting a widespread snowstorm of medium impact in southeast Michigan late Monday through Tuesday, and it is likely to be the most significant snow so far this winter.

We will fine-tune the location and snow amounts as needed.