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      Unsettled wintry weather expected this week

      Before we dive headlong into December, let??s look back at the month of November. Temperatures fell just shy of average. The official reading was only 1.1 below the climatological average of 30.3 for November in the Upper Peninsula. The National Weather Service office in Negaunee measured 19?? of snow, which is more than five inches below our normal snowfall. During the entire month of November there were only four ??dry?? days with no precipitation. In fact of the past fifty days, only five of them have been dry! Current snow-pack stands at 5??.

      It??s a decidedly tranquil and mild day of weather today as we head back to school and work. Some light snow is affecting our eastern counties. We??ll enjoy a few breaks in the cloud cover as the day wears on. However, deeper moisture is knocking on the door in our western counties as the latest weather disturbance gathers steam over the Dakotas. The exact timing and track of this latest low will play a big role in just what happens over the next 48 hours. Also, temperatures teetering near the freezing point in some areas means small temperature fluctuations aloft can translate to big changes for us at the surface. These types of situations can have a big impact on sensible weather conditions and can make for some tricky travel for us.

      Here is the current thinking. Expect increasing clouds from west to east this afternoon. Wet snow showers will ramp up across our western counties this evening and overnight. Some accumulation is expected into Tuesday. 3-5?? of new snow is possible in the extreme western Upper Peninsula into early Tuesday afternoon. There will be a window of time Tuesday evening into early Wednesday in which a mix of wintry precipitation is possible. During this time, sleet and/or freezing rain could mix with snow, especially across central and eastern Upper Michigan.

      Wednesday, as the low tracks eastward into the eastern Great Lakes, expect more accumulating snow across west/central Upper Michigan. An additional 2-4?? of new snow is expected during this time for the west. Meanwhile, it may be warm enough for precipitation to fall as rain across the extreme southern and eastern counties. Colder air behind the front will spread across the Upper Peninsula, changing any mixed precipitation over to snow.

      The coldest air of the season will begin to filter into the Upper Peninsula for the second half of the week. By Saturday, the trap door really falls and daytime highs will be in the single digits. Overnight lows will fall below zero. Wind chill readings will plummet into the -25 range in the coldest sections of the western interior. There will be some lake effect snow during this time as well. However, the bigger weather headlines will be the biting cold.