High winds, rapidly falling temperatures hit Michigan; heavy snow for the west

The Detroit News

Temperatures are dropping across the state Wednesday amid high winds and, in west Michigan, snow has started falling in what could eventually measure nearly a foot.

A winter storm warning is in effect for southwest and west Michigan until 7 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

US-10 and Stiles in Ludington mid-morning Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022.

"Even though the early morning commute period looks to be mostly okay, road/travel conditions will deteriorate significantly later this morning," the weather service in Grand Rapids says.

A cold front moving into lakeshore areas around daybreak has started to produce snow. The plunging temperatures could quickly make roads hazardous.

"This is a perfect recipe for icy/treacherous conditions to develop suddenly which combined with the greatly reduced visibilities could lead to numerous traffic incidents," the NWS says.

Up to 12 inches of snow are forecast for areas such as Ludington and Muskegon. Bands of lake effect snow could stretch southeast to Kalamazoo later Wednesday.

For southeast Michigan and the Thumb area, the main hazard will be winds of 20-25 mph and gusts up to 40 mph.

A wind advisory is in effect for all of southeast Michigan until 10 p.m.

"Potential exists for light snow showers that may result in brief disruption of visibility and minor accumulations, especially along and north of I-69, where sporadic accumulations ranging between a half-inch to an inch will be possible," the National Weather Service says.

A big drop in temperature will accompany the wind.

"Temperatures now near freezing will quickly fall throughout the day with the passage of the front," according to the National Weather Service in Pontiac. "Temperatures will drop into the 20s to upper teens by late this evening before falling into the mid-teens overnight."