Some patchy fog may slow you down just a bit Thursday morning. Otherwise, we spend the first half of Thursday dry and mild under partly to mostly cloudy skies. It does appear that there will be a few winks of sunshine, especially over the eastern Upper Peninsula early Thursday. Low pressure approaching the Great Lakes region will bring increasing cloud cover and strengthening east/southeast winds throughout the day.
The center of low pressure is expected to move overhead by Thursday night, bringing heavy snow to the western Upper Peninsula. The latest forecast models have trended out low further west, which in turn pushes the heaviest snowfall westward. Overall snowfall amounts should be reduced as a result. However, that also means freezing rain/mixed precipitation will be pushed as far west as Iron and Baraga Counties this evening and overnight.
The low will progress on a northeastward track Thursday night into Friday, deepening as it moves overhead. Strong westerly winds will develop on the southern fringe of the low early Friday morning. It??ll be an early high Friday as colder air quickly filters in, changing any mixed precipitation over to all snow pre-dawn Friday. Winds gusting to 40-50 MPH, especially along the exposed portions of Upper Michigan, will create reduced visibility and white-out conditions throughout the day Friday.
Blizzard conditions are expected through the Keweenaw Peninsula as well as along the Lake Michigan shoreline into Friday night. Blowing/drifting snow is expected to create difficult travel conditions during this time. Some roads in the hardest hit areas through the Keweenaw Peninsula could become impassable into Saturday.
A Blizzard Warning has been issued for northern Houghton and Keweenaw Counties from 7 p.m. Thursday evening through 10 p.m. Friday night. The rest of the TV6 viewing area will be under a Winter Storm Warning from 4 p.m. Thursday until 10 p.m. Friday night.
There are some leads of open water on Lake Superior, so our west to northwest wind belts will also be subject to new lake effect snow Friday onward. The heaviest snow accumulation of more than a foot is expected over the far western Upper Peninsula. Snowfall amounts diminish as we look eastward. Four to eight inches of new snow are possible through much of central Upper Michigan. Further east, total snow will only amount to two to four inches. However, snow mixing with sleet and freezing rain will create equally hazardous driving conditions Thursday night into Friday.
A Blizzard Warning means severe winter conditions are eminent or occurring. Falling/blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are eminent or occurring. Strong winds are also possible within those areas as well.