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Posted on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 7:57 a.m.

Winter storm watch issued; 3 to 5 inches of snow now expected in Ann Arbor area

By Cindy Heflin

A blast of cold air headed for Ann Arbor is now expected to arrive sooner than expected tonight, boosting snowfall predictions and prompting the National Weather Service to issue a winter storm watch for tonight.

Washtenaw Road Commission snow plow.JPG

When the snow begins to fall, Washtenaw Road Commission trucks will be ready to tackle it.

After a day of rain and possible flooding, forecasters now predict accumulations of 3 to 5 inches west of US-23 and 1 to 3 inches east of US-23.

For Washtenaw County, which is bisected by the highway, that likely means a snowfall total of somewhere between 2 and 4 inches, said Amos Dodson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.

Earlier forecasts had expected anywhere from less than an inch of snow to 3 inches for Washtenaw County.

The watch advisory from the National Weather Service said 6 inches is possible in some parts of southeast Michigan if the changeover from rain to snow happens sooner rather than later, but Dodson said most of the accumulation will be on grassy areas and elevated surfaces, like bridges and overpasses.

“Ground surfaces are still fairly warm,” he said.

Still, roads are expected to become slick and hazardous as the snow falls, and the weather service warns motorists to expect a slippery commute Wednesday morning. Dodson anticipates snow will begin to fall in the Ann Arbor area around 7 p.m.

When that happens, the Washtenaw County Road Commission will be ready, said Jim Harmon, director of operations. All equipment has been prepared for winter service and the county has a stockpile of salt on hand.

Workers will make sure all the fuel tanks in the commission’s fleet of salt trucks are topped off and may preload the trucks with salt today, he said. A four-person crew as well as road commission supervisors will monitor conditions tonight and call in additional drivers as needed.

“We’ll be monitoring the forecast very closely,” Harmon said.

Before the snow comes, too much water is the immediate problem. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Mill Creek in Dexter and a flood watch remains in effect for all of Washtenaw County and much of southeast Michigan through this evening. The weather service said Mill Creek was at 8.7 inches and rising early this morning and was expected to rise above its 12-foot flood stage by late this afternoon and crest at 13.5 feet Wednesday morning.

Rain will persist throughout the day and a precipitation total of about 2 inches for the storm system that began dumping water on the area Monday is expected by Wednesday morning.

After the storm passes Wednesday, skies will clear, but colder temperatures will remain, with the high struggling to make it to 40 degrees.

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



Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

Is it possible for the weather updates to come out in a more timely fashion? I always get them the day after the weather has happened.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

YES! I am giddy with happiness


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! My favorite time of the year! Yippee!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 10:48 p.m.

In Fort Lauderdale. 82 and sunny this afternoon. Be home this weekend to shovel.. Ugh!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

I mean, I LOVE shoveling snow! It's exhilarating!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

I :PVE shoveling snow! It's exhilerating!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Actually, it's been downgraded to a winter weather advisory.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 9:39 p.m.

This is the part where the 4 wheel drive vehicles get going as fast as possible only to find out that all cars have 4 wheel brakes!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

They are now calling for 1-4 inches by morning, with the higher amounts more likely in Saginaw and Shiawassee counties.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

"Mill Creek was at 8.7 inches and rising early this morning and was expected to rise above its 12-foot flood stage by late this afternoon and crest at 13.5 feet" So, let me get this right. The Mill Creek is expected to rise almost 13 feet in one day? Where's the ark?


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

The Ark is at 316 South Main Street in Ann Arbor.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

The ark is over by 39 and outter drive. The flood found it.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

glad I live in a high rise....and not near a [13 foot water rise in a day] river


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

exactly how far east of 23 and how far west of 23? So Carpenter could get 1 inch of snow and Arborland could get 3 inches of snow? Either way...I stay off the roads during the first snow cuz Michiganians forget each and every year what driving in the snow is like....


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

Darn, I need a new snow shovel and forgot to get one at the home center yesterday! With this forecast they probably raised the price already too.

Bertha Venation

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 6 p.m.

hmmmm... where have I seen this photo before?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

Translation: Be prepared for the clowns on the highways who are texting or phoning or watching TV or dreaming about Florida or looking at the passenger next to them while gesticulating with their hands or shaving or putting on makeup or reading a map or trying to find the right radio station or planning their weekend or thinking about their job or kids or.... Be warned: You will have a tougher time avoiding accidents with these negligent doofi when the roads are slippery, and they are going to be slippery. So BEWARE!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

Actually, the plural of doofus is doofuses ( <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ), but, given the word and its meaning, I can appreciate the ironic humor in neologizing a pseudo-Latinate version of its plural.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

Lol, I did not know the plural of doofus was doofi. learn something everyday...

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Fantastic. Now, all I'm going to hear all night from my kids is, &quot;I hope they cancel school tomorrow!&quot;, &quot;Do you think school will be canceled, Mom?&quot;, &quot;It'll be so cool if they cancel school!&quot;, etc, etc, etc.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

Does it work? I could use a day off.

Urban Sombrero

Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 2:55 a.m.

@Ellen, that's too funny. I'll have to tell them about it. We have family in Muskegon (were just there 3 weeks ago) and, I'll admit, I've never heard that. Too cool.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

Gasp! Don't they know the 'magic spell for snow days'?? Wear your jammie inside out Put a spoon under your pillow Flush three ice cubes Seriously, that's what my kids do to bring on a snow day. They learned it from our friends in Muskegon. ;)


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

I've been getting that since last nite when they first reported it. Mine will be up at the crack of dawn watching chuck tell us yes or no. Can't wait.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

Remember! You have been warned! ....YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.....there might be some muddy slush on the grass when you walk your dog tomorrow morning.

Top Cat

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

Be of good cheer.....only 128 days until Opening Day at Comerica Park !

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

&quot;3 to 5 inches of snow now expected in Ann Arbor area&quot; = snow fail


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

What this storm warning really means is that we should all make sure we know where we stored our hats, gloves, and boots last year.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

We'll get a dusting....... Nothing to see here, move along......