Halloween forecast: 3-4 inches of snow possible in western, northern Michigan

The Detroit News

The last day of October could look more like a scene from winter, with the season's first snowflakes expected in some spots and weather advisories for parts of the state's north, central and west regions calling for up to 4 inches of snow in some areas.

Snow covers a pumpkin used as part of a Halloween display as the season's first snow storm sweeps over the Denver area earlier this month. For Metro Detroit, snow showers could make a Halloween appearance.

Advisories also warn that leaves that remain on trees and heavy with snow could knock branches onto power lines and cause outages.

In Metro Detroit, the National Weather Service predicts wind gusts as high as 33 mph on Thursday and a chance for rain changing to snow overnight, when temperatures drop into the 30s.

Some areas in the Thumb region could see 2-3 inches, while cities in southeast Michigan could see under half an inch, the agency predicts.

Consumers Energy warned trick-or-treaters to be aware of possible downed wires or other safety hazards while out Thursday night. 

Wind gusts of over 45 mph could bring power outages, the utility said. 

"Always assume a downed wire, even if not arching and sparking, is energized," Consumers said in a statement. "With rough weather expected, our crews are ready to respond quickly, make situations safe and restore power."

A winter weather advisory is in effect through 8 a.m. Friday for Mason, Lake, Osceola and Oceana counties, which includes Ludington and Baldwin.

"Rain will begin to mix with and start to change over to snow towards daybreak on Thursday," the weather service said. "Occasional snow is expected on Thursday before tapering off Thursday night. The wet snow may be heavy at times during the day Thursday. Total snow accumulations of up to 4 inches are possible. Winds may gust as

  high as 35 mph Thursday evening."

Another advisory lasts through 8 a.m. Friday in Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Muskegon, Montcalm, Ottawa and Kent counties. Cities include Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Mount Pleasant.

Rain should mix with snow by late morning Thursday, then

change to all snow during the afternoon, with up to 3 inches of snow possible in some areas, the weather service said.

"Accumulation rates may approach an inch an hour during the evening commute," the notice said. "Given that many of the trees still have leaves on them, the snow loading on those trees may result in tree branches falling on power lines causing some power outages."

After the system pushes out of the region, high temperatures are not expected to rise above 50 until early next week, according to the weather service.