The travel weather around the U.S. leading up to Christmas will have just a few snowy areas.
In fact, most of the country looks like the weather will be fairly safe for driving before and during Christmas Day.
Tuesday before Christmas
Tomorrow a large, mild rain system will move into the eastern third of the U.S., including most of Lower Michigan. There will be an area of snow from Minnesota into northern Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula, and far northern Lower Michigan. A few inches of snow are likely in that area. Also a small area of snow will fall in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Otherwise the rest of the precipitation in the U.S. should be rain. A large chunk of the western U.S. will be dry altogether.
Christmas Eve day
The large rain pattern, along with mild temperatures, will continue in the eastern U.S. During the day Christmas Eve day, Lower Michigan will continue to have off and on rain. In the wet areas temperatures should be well above freezing, with no threat of freezing rain in Lower Michigan Christmas Eve day. Colder air will start to move down from aloft, changing the rain to snow in part of Illinois and Indiana during the afternoon on Christmas Eve day. From Chicago westward there shouldn’t be any travel weather problems.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
This will be the time period that could have some winter travel conditions in Lower Michigan. Right now I would say a six hour burst of snow is possible in the middle of the night. There will likely be some accumulation. I’ll detail that in another post, but I’d look for several inches of snow in the southeast half of Lower Michigan by Christmas morning. The snow in Lower Michigan would end early Christmas morning. Otherwise travel on Christmas Day doesn’t look too bad in the rest of the U.S. There will still be rain on the East Coast, and an area of snow developing in the Rockies.
In fact, the area that needs to be watched the most for winter travel weather will be Lower Michigan Christmas Eve night and early Christmas morning. I’ll post an update on that later today. The trend in the last hour, when new computer models have come in, is for more snow in the overnight hours of Christmas Eve.
If you have any travel weather questions, ask them below.
MLive Chief Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa has been forecasting Michigan weather for more than 20 years. He’s been chief meteorologist at three television news stations in Michigan, and he’s an avid gardener and hunter. Email him at [email protected] and find him on Facebook at facebook.com/mark.torregrossa and Twitter @weathermanmark
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