Winter weather in Southeast Michigan: How to prepare your home and car for arctic conditions

Icy conditions, gusty winds, and wicked cold temperatures are on the docket for Southeast Michigan this Christmas as the Midwest gears up for a major winter storm this Christmas weekend.

According to the FOX Forecast Center, blizzard conditions are likely in states across both the Plains and Great Lakes regions beginning Thursday night. The heavy snowfall is expected to disrupt holiday travel as it arrives just days before Dec. 24. 

The snow is only the first element of the incoming inclement weather. Wind gusts could reach 60 mph in some spots around the region, which will only make the arctic cold that's moving in even chillier. 

Want to get the latest news and weather updates from your phone instantly? Download the FOX 2 app today on Android and iPhone today. You can also sign up for our FOX 2 newsletters to have breaking news delivered to your email. Sign up here to have them sent to you. 

Strong winds mean that even power outages are not out of the question with potential for trees to be knocked over. Metro Detroit can expect wind speeds between 50-60 mph by Friday evening. Meanwhile, the temperatures expected to descend on Detroit will measure below freezing - hovering in the high teens. 

RELATED: Wind chills as low as -40 to -60 as dangerous blast of arctic air to tighten its grip on large part of US

The conditions will be some of the most extreme this season. Here's how best to prepare for the upcoming weather:

Preparing for a blizzard:

Shore up your home

With any luck people braving the upcoming storm will do so from inside their home. Dangerous conditions that include extreme cold and precipitation are best weathered inside a heated home stocked with plenty of supplies.

Along with any grocery shopping that can be done ahead of time, homeowners will want to block the home's drafty areas to prevent cold air from getting in. There are sheet plastic window insulation kits that can help with old windows. 

MORE: Dangerous winter storm: Blizzard, power outages likely in Southeast Michigan

A quick check of someone's furnace can also go a long way since it'll be the main source of heat. 

It doesn't require a specialist to come out to shore up a furnace. Some do-it-yourself tips include replacing the air filter and ensuring the pilot light is on, which indicates the heater is operating as normal.

Exterior faucets can also lead to breaks in pipes and leaks if any remaining water freezes. Make sure they're turned off and drained. A short-term solution can include using a heat lamp or hairdryer to thaw any potentially-frozen pipes.

Another wild card when it comes to winter conditions is what happens if clogged gutters are still blocked when cold air comes in. A backup due to leaves can cause melting ice and snow to spill into a home's roof, which leads to damage to the ceiling and leaks. 

What to know about Michigan's Christmas weekend blizzard

As a massive winter storm blows into southeast Michigan, here's everything to know about this extremely dangerous storm.

Prep your car

Both precipitation and temperatures can play a factor in operating one's car. While drivers should avoid traveling during blizzard conditions, one should have their car stocked with supplies like First Aid Kits, flashlights, food, water, and a radio for any emergency needs.

Blankets and an extra set of clothes can also be used for anyone needing some extra warmth.

But if not driving is out of the question, anyone hopping in the car should be dressed for winter outdoors, even if they don't plan to spend any time outside. Vehicles spin out on ice or stop working after being turned off, which could strand passengers in less-than-ideal conditions.

Winter drivers will have much more luck getting around if they've outfitted snow tires on their vehicle. Cat litter or sand can also give a vehicle that extra bit of traction to get out of deep snow or ice. So will a shovel.

MORE: What are the odds of a white Christmas?

Jumper cables can help restart a battery that has died in the cold while an ice scraper can be used to clear off anything frozen to the windshield.

And on that note, anti-freeze can also be instrumental in keeping a vehicle working.