National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce



A potent surface low pressure system organized over northern Mexico Monday night as it tracked into southern Texas Tuesday morning. Supporting upper low pressure phased with an energetic southern stream jet which enabled the system to lift rapidly northeastward while strengthening. Colder air on the northwestern flank of the surface low ensured a focused swath of snowfall from New Mexico, through the Ohio Valley, and into The Northeast by Thursday with persistent Gulf moisture feed. An initial round of snow driven by isentropic ascent began early Wednesday morning which spread from south to north across Southeast Michigan as the low crossed into the Mid-Mississippi Valley. This produced a coating of snow to around two inches by sunrise. The system’s meager dry slot then attempted to work in which led to a few breaks with mid-morning snowfall. Snow then resumed in full-force late Wednesday morning ahead of the heaviest banded features.


Heavy snowfall occurred midday Wednesday with strong frontogenetic circulations, elevated instability through the DGZ,  and deformation forcing which produced large fluffy snowflakes and snowfall rates near one inch per hour at times. Thunder snow was observed just to the east over southern Lake St. Clair during the heaviest snowfall as the surface low approached Lake Erie Wednesday afternoon. Activity diminished quickly Wednesday evening as stabilization settled in behind the departing system which brought an abrupt end to the snow for most locations by 7 PM. Lake effect snow showers impacted portions of The Thumb and southern Huron shoreline areas into the overnight hours. Overall snow accumulations ranged from four to nine inches across the Winter Storm Warning area while amounts between two and four inches were realized elsewhere

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