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Posted on Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

8 to 12 inches of snow forecast for Ann Arbor area starting Tuesday

By Kelly Davenport

The National Weather Service is predicting a winter storm will hit Washtenaw County and the surrounding region this week, dumping as much as a foot of snow.

Meteorologists issued a winter storm watch early Sunday morning, with 8 to 12 inches of accumulation possible. The storm is expected to hit Tuesday night and continue into Wednesday.


A winter storm watch warns of snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches in Washtenaw County this week.

Lon Horwedel |

"It’s going to be tough to nail it three days out, but with the amount of moisture in this storm, it looks like a good chunk of the Ann Arbor area will see snow," said meteorologist Dave Gurney at the service's White Lake Township office. "The only way we wouldn't is if it gets warmer, and we see a mixture of sleet and snow."

The advisory warns of difficulties for drivers, with gusty winds and blowing snow ruining visibility on roads.

So far, the region has seen 27.2 inches of snow this year, which is about 4 to 5 inches above average, Gurney said.



Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

Well here we go another snow storm "blizzard" conditions?.Well I have been employed by a local towing company for over 30 years and would please me so much if people stayed home,schools closed,businesses closed,It's only 1 day.But I know there will a few that will venture out to "watch the snow flakes"..and then they will get stranded -35 wind chill,and then it will put us all in hazard conditions..prepare early,stay warm and safe at home..This is 1 day I would not mind not making money!!!!.Let me stay warm and safe!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

YAYYY!!!!! Big snow storm coming to Michigan! Who knew?! I foresee snowmen, snow forts, snow angels, and snow days for kids!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

can we wait and see what we get before we start worrying.Weather people have about 40 pct accuracy


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

it's not like it's the end of the world people.put gas in your car(s).if u rely on a cell phone keep it charged.if u have very small kids be sure u have whatever supplies little kids staples so u have food.have batteries for flashlights.radios,and anything else that requires them.there must be sources of light in case power goes off.plenty of beverages on hand.a cooler or 2 perhaps with dry ice.gas grill with a full fuel tank.extra gas for your generatorif u have one.use good sense when shoveling snow,i.e. a single path along your sidewalk should do it,shovel enough of the driveway so one vehicle can get out and have it filled with gas.the rest u can dealm with once the snow stops.GOOD LUCK


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

What's the region that got 27 inches of snow this season? Ann Arbor hasn't had anything close to that. I'd guess more like 10-12".


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

The news stations blow this stuff way out of proportion. "Snow coming our way! Be prepared!" as if it is some giant storm, and then half the time we dont get any. This storm has a northern boundary that just covers our area, so dont be surprised if we dont get slammed. I'll believe it when I see it.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

The school I work for just emailed the teachers and told them that if this storm is what they say? There is no school on Wednesday. Period. I remember a storm like this 3 years ago December. Our child was at winter survival camp and they got snowed in. They called the parents to let them know the children were safe and for parents to stay home. Let it snow.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

The most recent weather-related closure for U of M was for two days in January 1978 when the area was blanketed with 19 inches of snow. So it's been 33 years.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

I remember that week very well!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

It's Bushes fault!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

We don't know what we don't know, as evidenced in multiple;e comments here today about a snow storm. "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test." "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." --in parting words to world leaders at his final G-8 Summit, punching the air and grinning widely as those present looked on in shock, Rusutsu, Japan, July 10, 2008

Raggety Andy

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

Please do not be duped by climate change deniers. Above average snowfall does not mean global warming is not happening. In fact it is probably a result of warming changing global weather patterns. Just another example of our underfunded educational system lagging behind our industrial peers. Ignorance is strength... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

I second A2 Mac Geek's sentiment. It's ridiculous and dangerous for the U to expect me to put my vehicle and I through a storm of this magnitude for my non-critical job. But, at least they won't let folks smoke on campus come July...sort of. If you don't really have to be anywhere, just stay off the roads.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 4:33 a.m.

Oh wait it jst came to me! For all the people complaining about the road crews why don't we just hire Harry Potter to use magic to clear the snow!!!!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

Yup! More cold = more warm. War = peace. Slave = free. AGW is so 00's...


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

&quot;I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.&quot; GWB--Washington, D.C. June 18, 2002 I note that the tax payer paid propaganda that came from the White House 2000-2008 is paying off. This is not some &quot;liberal revisionist history&quot;, this is from the Office of Special Counsel Report issued in January.. &quot;...the OPA Director and Deputy Director focused the time and energy of OPA staff to help advance the Republican Party's electoral prospects, thereby transforming the office into a setting akin to a political boiler room.&quot; &quot;...U.S. Treasury funds should not have been used to pay for this political activity. Using U.S. Treasury funds to finance such activity, including employees' salaries, violated the Hatch Act.&quot; ALPHA, you paid for it!, and bought the Party line hook, line and sinker! Slave. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:43 a.m.

Cool! I can use my backcountry skis to get to work! And snow is perfectly compatible with climate change. We're supposed to get more precipitation. In the winter that means more snow. The temp rise is supposed to take a while. So until the temps rise, the extra precipitation falls as snow in the winter. Remember that it takes about 9&quot; of snow to make 1&quot; of rain, so it doesn't take a lot of extra water to make a lot more snow.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

it's mich. what yeppies are scared


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

How is it possible that the Ann Arbor area has seen 27 inches of snow in the past month? It seems like a fairly mild winter so far, and I don't remember more than four inches ever accumulating on the ground, with little melt in between &quot;storms.&quot;


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

Alpha, that's a different, smaller storm. We're actually getting a couple inches of snow tomorrow night in advance of the monster storm starting Tuesday. Might be good information to have in the article so as not to catch people off guard tomorrow. Roads will be crappy all the way until the weekend folks, so don't expect any miracles from our road crews. The high winds (perhaps sustained 20-30 mph) and cold temps (down below zero!) that will come after the snow ends will conspire to keep travel very difficult. Even if they got a &quot;jump&quot; on this one, conditions would go sour very soon anyway. Patience will be required. And please let people drive slowly without riding their tail!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

The leading edge of the storm has now crossed the Mississippi River near Minneapolis. Seems a bit ahead of predicted arrival...


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:44 a.m.

dading: &quot;i have my suv, i'll be flying by everybody.&quot; This is the problem when it snows. People who drive SUVs way too fast for the road conditions causing accidents. SLOW DOWN.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

But then we can drive past them, when they hit black ice and find themselves in the medium or a guard rail.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

@sally, i was being WAY over sarcastic. seems everybody wants to blame us in out suv's. i (ME) learned a long time ago that &quot;you still have to stop&quot;. my biggest beef about these snows is the driver's that are way over cautious. they are the ones i blame for a lot of the accidents. going 5 i dare go 15 to go around? so i can travel at a safe (for everybody) 10 mph?


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

Two days warning. Let's hope that the County and City plows are out there early and plan to keep plowing through the storm, rather than wait until after it starts to pre-treat roads. How about some pro-active road maintenance for a change. Use that brine and other salt/sand mixes before the storm to keep roads passable. No excuses, Mr. Harmon. Two days is a long time to get ready for this.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

you can't pre treat roads, I think you ought to check your facts. You put any brine or sand, salt on the roads now, the cars will throw it in the ditch. And on the snow that is coming, there is no other thing to do but to plow and it's hard keeping up with the storm. KNOW your facts


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

Yes Sally, let's put the salt and other roads treatment down early so that when it's snowing an inch an hour or more it just get covered up and useless.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:20 a.m.

@ cibachrome &amp; Stephen Landes Very good suggestions! Those are the kind of things I do and anyone driving in this type of weather needs to do! @ snoopjane Are you suggesting the employer should pay you for this day off? I hope not!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

8 - 12 inches of snow is different that 1 - 3 inches as far as home and travel action is concerned. This could affect electric power lines at home, too. I suggest planning at home for some extra water, flashlights, candy bars or nuts, dog food and shovels. If you won't be traveling, move the car off the street or into the designated parking spot so that plowing won't be negatively affected. If you have abd use a snowblower, by any means see if if starts, now. Don't wait until Tuesday night. If you absolutely need to go out on the roads, fill up the tank fuel now, fill up the washer bottle fluid, go find the snow and ice scraper, put some salt bags in the trunk, put some chocolate milk, candy bars, water and a shovel in the back along with a blanket. If you have a rope or a tow chain, put it in just in case you need it or can help a new found friend. Put in an extra coat and dry gloves, a flashlight and some extra washer fluid in your camping kit. Get the extra phone charger out there, too. This may sound too much like adventure land, but it can be fun for the whole family. Even deciding to stay home could be quite a decision making experience. In 9 months, maybe even the resultant Libra will be memorable ! This can be a great time to finally meet the neighbors, too.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

&quot; I suggest planning at home for some extra water, flashlights, candy bars or nuts, dog food and shovels.&quot; If they'd leave the schools open, I wouldn't have to plan for extra nuts at home when it snows.

Josh Ditton

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

8-12&quot; is very conservative at this point, but smart given the time between the storms. As an avid weather fan, I've been looking at some soundings and maps for this system. It looks to me like 10-14&quot; would be a more accurate forecast, with anywhere from 8-16&quot; possible.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

Given the thin nature of the intense portion of this storm (which was supposed to miss us entirely to the south when drawn just two days ago), that is not how this forecast works. A better way to present what we're seeing on the maps is to say we have a 75% chance of 8 inches or more. We also have a 5% chance of 18 inches or more. It never hurts to plan for the worst, but let's stay realistic and not assume the 10-11 inches which seems the median of an incredibly wide range of possibilities.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

&quot;LOL Global warming I don't see it happening&quot; Recent science by comparative planetologists shows that essentially all planets and larger moons in our solar system have been cooling noticeably for about 15 years now. It's quite unexpected, and quite unexplained, and entirely unpredicted by every known 'global warming' 'model' in the world. Additionally, the solar sunspot minimum has carried on much longer and stronger than usual, recalling the Maunder (sunspot) Minimum, which has been well associated with the cool decades which followed. Stay tuned...

John B.

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

Meanwhile, stock in tinfoil hats is soaring....


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

Welcome, Ms. Davenport.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : midnight

Those of us with office jobs that can be done handled remotely or even not done for a day tend to forget those who don't have that luxury. In my time working in steel mills, foundries, and manufacturing plants where shutting down ranges from difficult to impossible and is extremely costly I was certainly aware of how short-sighted and even self-centered it is to say to employers &quot;just give everyone the day off&quot;. There are consequences to giving everyone the day off and I doubt many people would feel it appropriate for them to be docked a day's pay for the privilege of staying home. Plan ahead, learn how to drive, leave early, take your time, buy the right kind of tires for the weather we have, car pool with someone who drives an AWD/4WD vehicle (assuming they will drive sanely), and remember those folks who do jobs that can't be done from home/coffee shops/libraries. It isn't only police and fire personnel who fit these roles; you can't shut off a blast furnace when the weather is nasty. Oh, and just plain enjoy the weather! It is there to be enjoyed, not feared.

dading dont delete me bro

Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

at least tdw saw the humor in it. i won't remention the lady in a front wheel drive i was following up wagner last friday going 15 mph. i debated, do i/don't i pass her. when i did, she had a cell phone stuck in her ear. SHE was the hazard on the road. oh, btw, i get 15 mpg on a regular basis. &gt;20.x mpg on expressway when i tuck in behind a semi. i won't give up my 330 hp hemi in my jeep.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Only in America, or maybe Saudi Arabia, would someone be PROUD of 15 mpg. My 15 year-old, high performance, luxury sedan gets TWICE that.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 11:12 p.m.

LOL Global warming I dont see it happening


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

It's called &quot;Global&quot; Warming for a reason...kinda hard to get a complete assessment by looking out your window.

Josh Ditton

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

Say it with me: &quot;Weather is different than climate&quot;

Jay Allen

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:19 a.m.

THANK GOD for global warming. Just think where we'd be without it.......


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

So it's O.K. to make employees get to work at 2:30 am for Black Friday, but they shouldn't have to work because of some snow. Get real.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't feel like we had to go to work or take a &quot;vacation&quot; day. Companies should close and not put their employees in the position of having to drive in it.

Tom Joad

Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

Employers: Do everyone a favor and give everyone the day off. No sense putting everyone at risk for non-critical jobs. If you aren't dealing with life or death you can afford a day off.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

@stevek Obviously you are being sarcastic. But as Andy said it does not hurt to be prepared ahead of time. That will leave ONLY those that have no idea what being prepared means on the roads or in the ditches! That might also mean not parking your car on the street if possible. I am not worried in the least because I have 4 wheel drive and a generator for power. Don't forget to check on elderly neighbors. It would be a good idea if they got their groceries before the storm hits.

A2 Mac Geek

Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

It would be a lot easier to avoid driving in the hazardous conditions if the University of Michigan didn't insist on staying open, no matter how dangerous the weather.


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

mjc, Some Departments support flexible start/departure times, and other will document anytime somebody is late no matter what the reason. At least one department also requires 2 weeks notice for vacation time to be approved, and a week notice on sick/ family care time to be approved. An if you are suddenly sick then documentation must be provide show that medical care was required. i.e. a doctor's note proving that you where ill is required. I am guessing that you might work for a more relaxed departments. An I hope enjoy the ability to &quot;stay home if you need the entire day&quot;. I will be at work on time. An as one supervisor put it, &quot;if a person can't be to work on time, they should move nearer, or find employment nearer to home&quot;.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

The UM can't close down its hospital systems, nor can it tell thousands of students that they're out of luck. 12 inches of snow is not going to close down campus, or the City of Ann Arbor. UM departments support flexibility in work arrival times/departures when severe weather conditions warrant. Employee and student safety is a priority and you're supposed to use your own good judgment. How do you not know any of this? And since UM employees accumulate between 12-24 days of vacation per year, consider using vacation time if you need to stay home the entire day.

dading dont delete me bro

Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

i have my suv, i'll be flying by everybody.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

Your'e funny.I got the humor


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

Hilarious. Another SUV driver who thinks that because he can GO, it means he can STOP, too. That an all the extra mass wants to go in a straight line when you try to turn, too. I wonder if he would be so smug if he thought about how all the extra gas he burns supports terrorists?


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

Too numerous to count the times I've witnessed a SUV fly by cars during bad weather only to find the unfortunate driver stuck in a ditch a few miles later. Drive safely dading... always.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Or, you could just buy a set of snow tires, drive a reasonably sized car, and not get 10 mpg all year long.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

stevek - relax, there's no need to panic but there's no harm in being prepared either. Get trips and errands done ahead of time to avoid driving in the hazardous conditions if possible. Kids will most likely be home from school so get the sleds ready too!


Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

Just as an aside, I LOVE seeing these ^ after one of my posts. :)


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

Wierd usually when I say there's no harm in being prepared, I get lots of panicked replies....


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

Finally, a decent snow storm.

John of Saline

Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

I love VPNs. Work from home.

Jeff F

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 4 p.m.

If only the boss wasn't a &quot;face time&quot; kinda guy. :-(


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Love VPN. Tragically, we have a customer visit so I have to be in the office. And wear a tie. I'm not sure which is worse.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

For those who don't know what a VPN is (I didn't), it stands for Virtual Private Network.


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

Quick, everybody panic!!! Run to the store and buy up all the groceries!!!! It's the end of the world!! Armageddon is here!! What will we do?, What will we do?

John B.

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 : 12:01 a.m.

ROFL! I agree. 'They' should start pre-salting the roads now, and if they don't, we should all sue 'them' for malfeasance and moral turpitude (or is that turpentine - I forget).


Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 6:18 p.m.

You mean do something like try to make it so you do not have to drive in a foot of snow. SO that you are not an extra car in the way of people plowing or possibly becoming the guy in the ditch that causes AAA to have several hour back ups for the people who actually NEED something. Yes, I will make sure I have enough food in house so I don't have to make a trip to Meijer during a snow storm.