National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


On February 17th, 2022, a strong winter system impacted the Great Lakes region, producing widespread rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow for much of the Midwest and Ohio Valley. An initial round of moderate to heavy rain occurred overnight and into the morning hours of February 17th, with temperatures surging into the upper 40s-low 50s ahead of an advancing warm front. The combination of half an inch to an inch of rain and substantial snowmelt during the warm period resulted in minor urban flooding and minor to moderate river flooding. Precipitation dissipated after sunrise with the southeastward progression of an arctic front, which caused temperatures to drop nearly 10-15 degrees in a two hour period following the frontal passage. With residual moisture on the roadways and rapid drop in temperatures, concerns for a flash freeze prompted a Winter Weather Advisory for the Tri-Cities and Thumb regions while the main snowfall stayed further south. A general break in precipitation ensued between mid-morning and early afternoon, with patchy freezing drizzle and sleet developing mainly south of I-69. This light/patchy period of wintry mix resulted in ice accumulations of a trace to a few hundredths of an inch, before transitioning to all snow between 2 and 5 PM. Snow was heaviest between 5 and 11 PM, with snowfall rates peaking around 1 inch per hour at times within heavier snowbands. A Winter Storm Warning and adjacent Winter Weather Advisories were in effect for this event, which ultimately resulted in 4-6 inches of snowfall along and south of I-69, with locally higher amounts up to 7 inches near metro Detroit. The initial round of wintry mix produced slick conditions for untreated surfaces (i.e. sidewalks and parking lots), while snow covered roads during the evening created hazardous travel conditions for drivers. Additionally, strong northerly winds behind the front produced some areas of blowing snow late Thursday evening until high pressure worked in early Friday morning


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