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A snow storm is headed toward Michigan. Is this the start of real winter?

Snow plow busy clearing streets and roads during Winter season
Heavy snowfall is expected to hit Michigan Monday night and into Tuesday morning, during a winter snow storm. This is the first storm in the season to bring significant snowfall and cold temperatures. (Dennis MacDonald /
  • A winter storm may cause snow to accumulate up to 2 inches per hour in parts of the Midwest 
  • This storm is the first of the season to bring significant cold and heavy snow 
  • More snow is expected throughout the rest of the week and temperatures will drop significantly over the weekend

Jan. 17: Snow days pile up for Michigan schools. Which districts have the most?
Jan. 15: Michigan school closings: how superintendents make decisions on snow days
Jan. 11: Most of Michigan facing a new winter storm warning. Will schools close Friday?

Michigan residents may see winter weather this week as meteorologists are projecting a storm that could bring up to 10 inches of snow in some parts of the state. 

A major winter storm is looming in the U.S. and heavy snow and winds is expected in the upper Midwest, according to the National Weather Service. Most of southwest Michigan is under a hazardous weather outlook while northern Michigan is under a winter storm watch.


Snow is predicted for parts of Michigan Monday night and into Tuesday morning and could be as heavy as 2 inches of snow per hour at times, according to  the NWS.


Between 6 and 7 inches of snow are expected near Bay City and Midland as well as west Michigan. Southeast Michigan could see up to 5 inches of snow and northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula could get up to 10 inches of snow. 

“This is the first strong low pressure system that bring us some decent snowfall this winter," said Andrew Arnold, meteorologist for the Detroit National Weather Service. “We've had a couple of systems that brought some light snowfall but this is the first one where one may have a winter storm watch out for a couple of counties.” 

The service warned that the winter weather could create slippery road conditions Tuesday morning.  

“If there's travel going on or if anybody plans to travel to work that day, just be aware that there could be some roads that are a little hazardous to travel,” Arnold said.  

High winds, possibly reaching 30 mph, may cause outages for some parts of the state. 

“We've been following the system for about a week and we engaged all of our teams beginning early this week, so we have preparations in place to respond to any outages that happened due to weather,” said Colleen Rosso, communications manager at DTE Energy. 

A chance of snow continues throughout the state for the rest of the week as more storm systems head to the area, Arnold said. Michigan can expect colder temperatures by the weekend, as well. 


The consistent cold temperatures may mean the Great Lakes, currently behind last year’s freeze rate, will start to form ice. As of Jan. 7 about 1.5 percent of the Great Lakes are covered with ice, while this time last year coverage was about 3.5 percent. 

“We do need a sustained period of below zero degree Celsius days… for ice to start forming,” said Ayumi Fujisaki-Manome, researcher at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research at the University of Michigan. 

In shallow areas near the shore, ice can form within a couple of days because water is more sensitive to cold air. The deeper the water, the longer it takes for ice to form, she added.

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