It was another warm day with at least some sunshine over most of Upper Michigan. However, the anticipated storm, while slowing down, is still headed right at Upper Michigan.
Late this afternoon the deepening low was located over eastern Iowa. It is moving on the far western envelope of the anticipated track so it appears headed for western Upper Michigan later tonight. That means that if anything, the threat of mixed precipitation will spread farther westward than earlier anticipated. This may hold down snow amounts some, especially over central Upper Michigan.
Easterly winds will increase as the intensifying storm gets closer. The strongest winds will buffet the U.P. shore of Green Bay and east-facing shores of Lake Michigan. Some gusts will exceed 40 miles-per- hour there with 15 to 30 mile-per-hour winds elsewhere.
Snow will develop from the south this evening and spread quickly northward. The heaviest surge of precipitation will only last around six hours in most locations. However over the western third, the heavy snow will come down longer. As the low approaches, warmer air will wrap into the system from the southeast. That means precipitation will mix with sleet, freezing rain and just rain over central and eastern sections. The cold ground means that even if temperatures are a bit above freezing, rain is likely to turn to ice on untreated surfaces.
The most snow is still expected over the far western U.P. (Image above). A general 8-12 inches is likely from the Copper Country into Baraga County westward through Ontonagon into Gogebic Counties. The Gogebic Range around Ironwood may see the heaviest snows with over a foot possible there. Farther east, snow accumulation is forecast to taper off. A 4-8-inch fall is likely over the central near Iron River, with 2-5 inches from Iron Mountain to Negaunee and Ishpeming eastward to Marquette. In this area, the least snow will fall around the Marquette area. Farther east, a longer period of mixed precipitation is anticipated, so only 1-3 inches is expected for Escanaba, Manistique and Newberry.
As the low lifts to the north on Friday, colder air will pour in on strong southwest to westerly winds. The winds will be especially strong over the Keweenaw Peninsula where near constant blizzard conditions are likely during Friday into Friday evening.