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Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that spring has sprung.

A half-foot of snow is expected to hit parts of mid- and northern Michigan on Wednesday into Thursday, just days after the first official day of spring, according to the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.

“We’re looking at the heaviest snowfall north of Saginaw, in the Thumb area and then to the north and west of that,” meteorologist Sara Schultz said. “And then of course the lower northern Michigan areas, where they could see six-plus inches of snow.”

A winter storm watch will be in effect Wednesday morning through early Thursday evening for areas north of Interstate 69, Schultz said.

“We’re looking at areas south of I-69 as mostly rain,” she said. “Between Flint and Saginaw, we’re looking at accumulation of snow and ice; just some light accumulation.”

Schultz cautioned that the forecast remains flexible as the storm enters the state.

“That rain/snow line along I-69, if it shifts just a little it could throw off everything,” she said.

But Metro Detroiters living well south of I-69 should keep their shovels in storage and their raincoats handy, Schultz said.

“For people in Detroit, we’re looking at mainly rain” Wednesday and Thursday, she said. “But if you’re traveling north, you want to be aware of the forecast.”

Temperatures in the Detroit area should remain too high for the rain to switch over to sleet or snow, Schultz said.

“We’re looking at a high around 60 degrees Tuesday,” she said. “And then Wednesday and Thursday we’re looking at highs in the low 50s.”

Even overnight temperatures this week should hover in the mid to low 40s, she said.

HFournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier

Extended forecast

Tuesday: Chance of showers after 1 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 60. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Tuesday night: Chance of rain after 9 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.

Wednesday: Rain, possibly mixed with freezing rain and sleet, becoming all rain after 10 a.m. Temperature falling to around 41 by 8 a.m. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. Little or no ice or sleet accumulation expected.

Wednesday night: Rain. Low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half an inch possible.

Thursday: Rain. High near 51. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Thursday night: Rain, possibly mixed with freezing rain before 2 a.m., then a chance of snow showers. Low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Friday: Chance of snow showers before 8 a.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 28.

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