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      Transition to spring-like weather pattern comes with a cost

      Arctic air and below average temperatures continue to impress (or depress, depending on your perspective) across Upper Michigan. Daytime high temperatures Tuesday are expected to fall more than twenty degrees below average. A strong ridge of high pressure will build into the western Great Lakes region Tuesday evening and Tuesday night. That means clear sky conditions and light winds will combine to bring another bitter cold night.

      Temperatures by Wednesday morning will range from around zero degrees, through the single digits and teens below zero. Overnight low temperatures in those typical cold spots may very well fall into the 20s below zero.

      Wednesday, we start mainly sunny and cold. However a steady southerly breeze will help usher in some warmer air. This early spring sun angle will also help daytime highs reach through the 20s. Despite these warming factors, highs Wednesday will still fall short of our long term average. By Wednesday evening, weâ??ll be watching the first wave of moisture moving in ahead of the latest low pressure system. Expect scattered snow showers over west/central Upper Michigan to add up to perhaps 1-3 inches Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

      Thursdayâ??s forecast still poses a few questions for us regarding track and precipitation type. As these spring time systems move through, small scale differences aloft can mean large scale changes for us at the surface. It does look like the best chance for moderate snowfall and a few inches of accumulation will be over roughly the western half of Upper Michigan.

      Thursday morning will feature patchy fog, rain and sleet mixing with wet snow. This sloppy, slushy mix will continue through a balance of the day, especially over south/central Upper Michigan. No winter weather advisories have been issued for Upper Michigan as of Tuesday afternoon. However, travel may be impacted by some slippery roads and perhaps minor visibility restrictions Wednesday night into Friday morning.

      Temperatures will trend towards average by this weekend with highs into the 40s. However, an unsettled spring-like weather pattern will keep a wintry mix of rain and snow in the forecast through the end of March.