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Let the Snow Melt Begin:

After accumulating snow and bitter cold temperatures between Thursday and Christmas Day, a warming trend in temperatures is expected this week. It will be a gradual process since the snow won’t all melt at once, but we’ll definitely be dealing with melting snow for the second half of this week. Highs will be in the 20s today and Tuesday before warming into the mid-30s by Wednesday. Mostly Cloudy skies are forecast for all 3 days. If we are able to sneak in some sunshine, the best chance of that occurring would be on Wednesday. Thursday and beyond is looking unseasonably warm for this time of year with highs in the 40s. We may even flirt with or reach 50 on New Year’s Eve. Given that the normal high this time of year is 32 degrees, these temperatures are not typical for ending December and starting January. We will also see chances for rain showers to end 2022 and begin 2023. The best chance for rain comes on New Year’s Eve. Here is a look at the 7-day forecast:

An early look at rainfall potential, reveals 0.5” to 1.0” may be possible by the time we get to New Year’s Day. This will certainly result in snow melt. The ground will likely turn muddy, but at least that’s better than icy roads, right? I don’t know. I’d almost rather stay cold that turn into a mild, muddy, mess. Something to consider includes a risk for advection fog to develop as this warm air advances over the cold snowpack. If winds are too strong, fog potential would be limited, but if winds are calm, the fog risk increases. When we combine the snow melt with rain, we add plenty of moisture to the air, so that’s why fog could become an issue and is something worth watching during the week ahead.

How Often Do Blizzards Occur in Michigan?

To provide some perspective, blizzards are actually an unusual occurrence in Michigan.

The last Blizzard Warning prior to this past weekend was in February of 2019. The east side of the state hasn't seen a Blizzard Warning since February 2011. Now, the storm this past weekend was by no means a state-wide blizzard since the heaviest snow did not line up with the strongest winds, however, hazardous travel conditions certainly resulted from blowing and drifting snow along with bitter cold temperatures and wind chills. So, significantly impactful yes (Winter Storm Warnings are common every winter), but certainly not as bad as it could have been if timing had been slightly different (which would have required the rare issuance of more widespread Blizzard Warnings).

This being said, blizzard conditions certainly occurred closer to Lake Michigan and in northern lower MI, including Gaylord. This means the Blizzard Warnings did verify. In fact, portions of I-94 were shut down on Friday west of Kalamazoo because of the white-out conditions and snowy/icy roads. Main roads in Gaylord became impassable and cars were stranded because of the blizzard conditions. Events like this that bring very strong winds result in significant winter storms regardless of how much snow falls, because blowing and drifting is dangerous for driving in. Snowfall amounts are irrelevant for's all about the wind and white-out conditions. Not to mention wind chills -10° to -20° can be dangerous if you spend too long outside in them.

Snow Recap Thursday Morning Through Christmas Morning

Snow began last Thursday afternoon and ended early Friday morning. We picked up a quick 4-5 inches overnight in Mount Pleasant. The system moved off to the east rather quickly as dry, arctic cold air moved in and ended the snow across central MI. From there, we only saw occasional flurries or light snow showers in Mount Pleasant Friday and Christmas Eve. The key role that made this storm a problem for holiday travelers was the blowing and drifting snow, which was caused be wind gusts between 30 and 50 MPH on Friday and Christmas Eve. On the west side of the state, lake effect snow continued Friday and Saturday, with even some lingering snow showers into Christmas Day. Since snow was falling from the sky in addition to the gusty winds, blizzard conditions were observed west of US-131 to the Lake Michigan shoreline. Since the snow falling from the sky ended in central MI before the strongest winds arrived, blizzard conditions were avoided, but difficult travel conditions were still experienced. The highest snowfall totals were found in Kent County, where 22.7 inches was measured at the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids. Even the Lansing area ended up receiving 8-14 inches due to lake effect coming well inland and impacting the I-96 corridor on Christmas Eve. The following map shows estimated snowfall totals between 7am Thursday and 7am Christmas morning. With 1 inch or more on the ground for just about the entire lower peninsula, it is safe to say all had a white Christmas this year!

Mt. Pleasant Almanac for This Week:

December 26th

Normal High/Low: 32°/20°

Record High: 64° 1982

Record Low: -6° 1925

Sunrise: 8:11AM

Sunset: 5:08PM

December 27th

Normal High/Low: 32°/20°

Record High: 60° 2019

Record Low: -14° 1925

Sunrise: 8:12AM

Sunset: 5:09PM

December 28th

Normal High/Low: 32°/19°

Record High: 56° 1982

Record Low: -11° 1924

Sunrise: 8:12AM

Sunset: 5:10PM

December 29th

Normal High/Low: 32°/19°

Record High: 64° 1984

Record Low: -11° 1933

Sunrise: 8:12AM

Sunset: 5:11PM

December 30th

Normal High/Low: 32°/19°

Record High: 56° 1984

Record Low: -8° 1976

Sunrise: 8:12AM

Sunset: 5:11PM

December 31st

Normal High/Low: 31°/19°

Record High: 60° 1965

Record Low: -14° 1976

Sunrise: 8:12AM

Sunset: 5:12PM

January 1st

Normal High/Low: 31°/18°

Record High: 58° 2005

Record Low: -15° 1964

Sunrise: 8:12AM

Sunset: 5:13PM

Mid-Mitten Weather View’s Mission is to serve people by providing timely information to help keep you safe and make decisions based on the weather. We are passionate about educating both our forecasters and our followers about how weather forecasting works and how we can be best prepared when impactful weather threatens. Our team consists of both CMU alumni degreed meteorologists and current student forecasters from the University. For daily updates, we welcome you to check out our Facebook Page! We look forward to catching you back here next week for another weekly 7-Day forecast update.

-Weather Forecast by CMU Student Forecaster Isaac Cleland

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