Icy Friday morning awaits

Posted at 9:50 AM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 09:50:15-05

WEST MICHIGAN- While this seems like an interesting story to write while the temperatures are climbing to record highs this afternoon, it’s not real surprising in Michigan: it’s going to get cold again…and fast.

A very sharp cold front with arctic air behind it is racing toward the east.  We’re obviously in the warm sector today, but that front moves in tonight and brings us our change to freezing rain, sleet, and snow.

Later this evening, temperatures will remain in the 50s, so it’s still going to be fairly smooth sailing on your commute home this evening.

Just short of midnight, we’ll watch the drastically colder air move in and temperatures are going to rapidly drop into the low to mid 30s.  This is when the rain will transition to freezing rain and sleet.

As temperatures get colder and the morning moves along, notice the more broad area of the pink shaded color.  This is likely when you’re going to see a few of the roads get fairly icy for a couple of reasons.  Obviously the falling ice precipitation will make it slick, but don’t forget about the rain we received all of Thursday.  Any leftover wet areas will quickly freeze up and cause it to be very icy.

This will fully transition to snow by sunrise as temperatures are expected to fall throughout the day.

Because of the rain from Thursday and the threat of frozen precipitation, I think we’re looking at very slick roadways during the morning.  The highest threat of very slick conditions is from the south and east of I-96.

Your timeline for the changeover from rain to freezing rain and sleet still looks like it will be between 10-12 tonight with the highest accumulations early morning tomorrow.