Sleet and freezing rain moving in today

Posted at 8:28 AM, Dec 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-28 08:28:43-05

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning through Tuesday morning for Montcalm, Gratiot, Ionia, Clinton, Barry, Eaton and Ingham Counties. The Winter Storm Warning includes the cities of Lansing, St. Johns and Charlotte. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued through early Tuesday morning for Shiawassee, Livingston, Washtenaw, Lenawee, Calhoun and Jackson Counties. The cities of Jackson and Battle Creek are in the Advisory area. A Freezing Rain Advisory has been issued for Branch and Hillsdale Counties through Monday evening.

A storm system races towards the Great Lakes today. The storm brings strong winds and a lot of moisture. Aloft temperatures will be warm enough for rain, but down at the surface an East wind will pump cold air into Mid-Michigan. This is the perfect set-up for sleet and freezing rain. The freezing rain and sleet will develop from south to north this morning. Computer models are saying ice accumulations could be around in the tenth to quarter inch range in Mid-Michigan. Heavier amounts are possible north and west of Lansing. Lesser amounts are expected south and east of Jackson. Sleet accumulations of around a half inch are possible. The ice teamed up with strong wind gusts near 45 MPH will more than likely cause scattered power outages.

The morning commute today should be dry. Through the morning hours sleet and freezing rain will move north through southern Michigan. By noon the sleet and freezing rain will be to the Lansing area. During the afternoon we transition over to just freezing rain. The Monday afternoon commute could be quite slippery with ice building up on untreated roadways. The freezing rain continues Monday evening before temperatures slowly climb above freezing overnight. Tuesday we are back to scattered rain showers and high temperatures near 40.

This will not be a repeat of the Ice Storm of December 2013. Ice accumulations are expected to be between a tenth and quarter of an inch today into this evening. Wind gusts near 45 MPH this evening may cause some scattered power outages, but with warmer air moving in overnight the trees and power lines will not have an extended period of time coated in heavy ice like the 2013 storm. Unlike a typical ice storm we will not see Arctic Air set up shop here following the storm. Temperatures Tuesday climb to near 40 degrees.

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