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Posted on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:32 a.m.

Overnight snowfall could bring messy Wednesday commute, but will you have to shovel?

By Cindy Heflin

The first measurable snowfall of the season could snarl the Wednesday morning commute in the Ann Arbor area, the National Weather Service says, but with a little luck you may not have to shovel in the aftermath.

The Ann Arbor area could get anywhere from less than an inch to 3 inches of snow overnight Tuesday, said Debra Elliott, observation program leader at the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.


Snow is in the forecast, but if we're lucky we won't have to break out the shovels just yet. Here, owner Darlene Strasburg shovels the sidewalk in front of Metamorphosis Hair Salon on East Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor in this December 2010 photo.

Steve Pepple |

Areas to the east of US-23 will likely get less than an inch of snow, Elliott said, while areas to the west could get up to 3 inches.

Since Ann Arbor is right on the line, it could go either way.

“My guess would be that you’re going to be on the lesser end of it,” Elliott said. “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

The confluence of two low-pressure systems is to blame for this bit of late-autumn snowfall. A system moving up from the Gulf of Mexico will bring a lot of precipitation, starting with rain tonight, Elliott said.

As the storm moves to the north and east, cold air coming down from a low-pressure system in Canada will cause temperatures to drop and the rain to switch over to snow.

The Ann Arbor area can expect from 1 to 2 inches of rain by Tuesday night, when it will begin to mix with snow and then likely change to all snow after midnight.

Wednesday morning, skies will begin to clear Elliott said, but temperatures will remain much colder, with daytime highs in the 30s to near 40 for the rest of the week and nighttime lows in the 20s, possibly dipping into the teens Friday night. Snow showers are also possible Thursday night and Friday night.

While the prospect of slick roads and the need to shovel the walk may bring out the curmudgeon in all of us, Elliott offered a bit of perspective.

“It’s almost December so we’ve been pretty good at keeping it at bay,” she said. “It’s going to happen one of these days."

For updated forecasts and conditions anytime, visit's weather page.


Ann English

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

Usually, we have snow on the ground at Thanksgiving. I'll never forget the 1998-1999 winter, when we didn't get even three inches of snow on the ground before January 2, 1999, and a BLIZZARD came on that day. We also didn't have snow on the ground during the 1979 Thanksgiving.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

I've got a child here who is yelling "No School"!!! I am like if it is what it is? From what I am hearing? It could happen. The NWS said in places they could get 6 at best or 1 and not much else. With the rain and the wind? I am thinking no school?

Fat Bill

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

If we get snow that sticks on the roadway, and the usual number of drivers who fail to understand the effect of ice on tire grip, make sure you give the tow trucks a wide berth. They will be out winching cars out of the ditch, and there are not enough cops to provide traffic control. Flashing red or amber lights are there for a reason.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

I'd rather mow grass than shovel snow.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Robbo? Hope your heart health is good. Many have died from shoveling snow. I have an electric snow thrower. A good footage of cable and I am ready for anything. Lets hope we don't loose power.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

I LOVE shoveling snow, and I sneer at those with snow blowers. Shoveling snow is exhilarating!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 10:26 a.m.

@ Billy Bob - Ok, you can pay my $205 (per month) association fee. Oh, and then the $215 for next year because it always goes up for ICE and SNOW REMOVAL.

Jeff Renner

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

Billy Bob - I have a Toro snow thrower - you are welcome to come over and do your manly thing any time we have snow!

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:56 p.m.

I'd rather live in a condo and let the condo association take care of both for me. LOL Actually, I miss my killer Toro thrower. What a manly duty. I do miss that. I don't miss the shovel.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

I can't wait! Winter is my favorite time of the year! Hope we get lots of snow!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

"Keeping it at bay"? Does the National Weather Service have some power we don't know about?

Bertha Venation

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

Yeppir. Guess it's time to put the chains on the Hoveround for another season!