Winter begins in less than 24 hours.
Well, ok, technically winter began on Dec. 22 but it will finally FEEL like winter starting Sunday morning. Rain transitions to snow, temps plummet and the wind really picks up. Obviously timing is important so let's break that down first.
From midnight until about 8AM the atmosphere will be warm enough that we will still be seeing rain, with maybe a little wintry mix as we close to 8 o'clock. After 8 though, the switch over happens. From 8AM until about 1PM we have the potential to see some accumulating snow. After 1PM the bulk of the system leaves and we are left with some lingering flurries.
Here is what has changed in the last 12 hours: since the warmer air lingers until 8AM, and therefore the rain hangs around until 8AM, our snow totals will not be nearly as high as our central and northern Michigan friends. They will see 5-8" (and are in a Winter Storm Warning) while we are probably only going to get 1-2"... with plenty of us closer to 1". We will still have to shovel some snow away, but it shouldn't be too bad.
That being said, we still have some things to contend with. Temps will drop gradually throughout the day as the winds pick up big time. Gusts could be close to 40 mph with sustained winds between 20-30 mph. This means it's gonna feel like single digits all afternoon long, and close to 0 overnight. And any leftover rain and puddles from Friday and Saturday will flash freeze to ice making for some very slick spots. Be careful with that!
We will be watching this system carefully over the next 24 hours and will have updates here and on our social media pages.