When will the worst travel weather be in this Christmas lake effect snowstorm?

There will be dangerous areas of Michigan to travel to tonight and on Christmas Day. While most of the snow will be lake effect snow, an additional snowstorm will return to extreme Southeast Michigan.

We are looking at an intense lake effect along the shore of Lake Michigan. We also have the very western edge of a major snowstorm in Ohio which will give the Detroit area a peek.

Look at the radar forecast and look at the Detroit area first. The major snowstorm moving north through the Appalachians and Ohio will bring snow to the Detroit area.

Total snowfall forecast


Radar forecasts from 1 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

So you see lake effect snow along the shores of Lake Michigan, but you also see light snow moving towards Detroit and the thumb east around midnight tonight.

You can also see that the lake effect along the Lake Michigan shore intensifies around midnight this evening and continues until Christmas morning.

During Christmas day, the wind will blow from the west. This will push a snow spray in the southern part of Lower Michigan. This flurry of snow will likely only last an hour or two in any part of southern Lower Michigan.

Driving conditions will be at their worst this evening through Christmas noon in southwest Lower Michigan. This would include the South Haven area, the St. Joseph area and the Kalamazoo area. Visibility will be poor during heavy snowfall.

The roads will be blanketed in fresh snow for all of western Lower Michigan until noon on Christmas morning. This includes the entire stretch from Grand Rapids to Traverse City.

After midnight, the Detroit area north in the east of the Inch will have one to two inches of snow. The roads will be slippery on Christmas morning in the Detroit area and in the Thumb East.

Here’s a look at the total snowfall after the lake effect ends on Christmas afternoon.


Total snowfall until December 27, 2020

The yellow areas get six inches to a foot of snow. Around the heaviest snow there will be two to six inches of snow.

Give yourself more time to drive to your destination tonight and on Christmas Day.

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