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Holiday weekend Blizzard to ruin Christmas plans around Michigan

The dangerous storm system will cancel many plans into Christmas
Christmas weekend snow
Posted at 6:05 PM, Dec 21, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — The time for preparations and implementing "plan b" is winding down. Our blizzard will be moving in within 24hrs. Get those last minute groceries, gas up the generator, and prepare to hunker down by the time night falls on Thursday.

The storm system could already through a few rain and snow showers our way by early Thursday afternoon. These won't be too big of a deal though. By about 3-5pm, though, we'll start to see the heavy snow bands move in. By 5pm at the absolute latest, anyone in the FOX47 viewing area needs to be hunkered down and off the roads. The road conditions will go downhill very quickly.

The timing of the snow will start earliest in the west and move east through the late afternoon.

Start times
Start times

Thankfully even though heavy snow begins, the cold air and wind wont arrive until about 9-11pm Thursday evening. After that blizzard conditions are likely through the rest of the night and through Friday. Visibility will be near zero at times thanks to 55mph wind gusts blowing around the powdery snow. Please do not travel at all Thursday night through Friday night unless it is absolutely necessary.

Temperatures will be extremely cold Friday. They will fall into the single digits which means salt treatments on the roads won't work. Anything that was wet Thursday evening will be a sheet of ice by Friday morning. Then, add the blizzard conditions on top of it. Travel is downright NOT recommended.

Friday storm
Friday storm

Many of us will already see over half a foot of snow by daybreak Friday and potentially over a foot by Saturday morning. A few localized area could exceed 15" just by Saturday night. With more lake effect through Sunday and maybe even Monday, totals could go even higher.

Christmas weekend snow
Christmas weekend snow

But it's not so much the snow as it is the white outs, extreme cold, and power outages that will cause the most harm. Here is a breakdown of the different threats and the timing of each:

Lansing Jackson Impacts
Lansing Jackson Impacts

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the FOX 47 News viewing area from 4pm Thursday through 1am Saturday. The Blizzard Warning to the west is issued from 4pm Thursday through 7pm Saturday. My thinking right now is that once the Winter Storm Warning expires, we'll be issued an additional Winter Weather Advisory that will carry us through Christmas from lingering blowing snow and lake effect.

Warnings
Warnings

Please remember that generators need to be outside and well ventilated. Do not run a generator in the basement or the garage. People have died from carbon monoxide as a result of doing that.

Road conditions could start to improve by Saturday evening, but they won't be perfect. Many areas will still experience bad blowing and drifting. Sunday will be a little bit better, but things won't be "business as usual" again until perhaps Monday.

Please stay safe and check back for frequent updates. I (Chief Meteorologist Brad Sugden) will be working around the clock through the entire weekend to keep you updated. In addition to being live on the air during the blizzard, I'll be doing frequent Facebook live updates on my page. Search Facebook for "Meteorologist Brad Sugden."

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