National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Event Summary

A strong upper trough moved through the Great Lakes on February 13, 2022 and led to a round of convective snow showers along the I-96/I-696 and I-94 corridors that intensified during the late afternoon and early evening. Snowfall rates in excess of an inch per hour were observed around northwest Metro Detroit as localized banding set up for several hours. Some locations around Livonia received 6 inches by the time snow showers tapered off by 8pm. This snowfall led to numerous accidents and the closing of several stretches of interstate highways.

The event was characterized by strong convergence and steep lapse rates in the low-levels that resulted in robust vertical motion as the trough moved overhead. A plume of modest instability that stretched eastward across the state and between the M-59 and I-94 corridors highlighted the main area of activity. The cold air mass in place (temps in the teens) meant the dendritic growth zone was relatively low in the column and flake sizes were small in the weaker activity. The strongest convection was however able to lower the cloud base and capitalize on this layer to produce large aggregate dendrites with extremely efficient snowfall rates.

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