Winter Storm Watch: 5 to 9 inches of snow coming Friday

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We couldn't avoid the big one all winter, and starting very early Friday we will get what will likely be our biggest snow storm of the season. Don't be scared of the snow - be prepared for it! 

It all starts after midnight on Friday when the snow streams into Michigan. The system itself isn't a very large one by snow storm standards BUT it does land itself right on top of Michigan and just stays here. 

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 We need to brace ourselves for what we call a "long duration" snow event - one that lasts almost all day. So, beginning just a little bit after midnight, the snow starts. We'll see the heaviest snowfall come at a non-so-perfect time: morning rush hour between 6 and 10 am. 

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It's still not done. It will get lighter but won't stop until around 2 when we get a break for a few hours. The downside? By then we'll already have about 5-6 inches of snow on the ground.

If you can, get on the road before 6 because the snow will return for the rest of the evening and overnight. The last batch of snow will total nearly 2 inches giving us grand totals near 7-8" for most spots.

Keep an eye on live traffic all day so you know what to expect before you leave for work

Most models have the whole thing gone by 3AM on Saturday morning and that looks about right. 

This will certainly be a system where you will want to split the shoveling up into a few separate events. If you can, try to get out in the afternoon around 3 to get some snow cleared before it picks back up again. The snow won't be particularly wet and heavy but it's still a lot of snow. 

So to recap: we should see between 5 and 9 inches of snow - but some could even see more. The timing is from 12 am Friday to 3 am Saturday. This storm is going to hit all of Southeast Michigan - but the heavier snow amounts will be south of the city.

Click through the maps above to see what will be like where you live.

If you are out in the snow in your car, make sure you're prepared in case you get stranded. Michigan State Police suggests having an emergency kit in your car: Water, blanket, extra clothes, some survival bars, a small shovel and kitty litter to help if you get stuck. You should also be prepared for anything. Pack extra gloves and hats, a battery charger for your phone phone, jumper cables and windshield wiper fluid. 

FOX 2 is following the storm all day Thursday and we'll be live at 4 a.m. with updated forecasts all morning long. Watch at