CADILLAC — Battle-weary and sore from shoveling, Michiganders are getting ready for not just one winter storm but two this week.
Monday was the proverbial calm before the storm as yet another storm is targeting the Mitten State Tuesday and Wednesday. While recent storms froze us to the bone, dumped large amounts of snow and freezing rain, Gaylord National Weather Service Meteorologist Tim Locker said Tuesday’s storm shouldn’t be as bad as the last two storms that cold-cocked the state.
There will be snow, there will be winds and there will likely be whiteout conditions at times, but there shouldn’t be as much snow as recent storms. It also appears the Cadillac area will not have to deal with ice, Locker said. As we all know, however, that could change, but so far so good.
“(This storm will be) mostly snow, low visibility, wind gusts up to 25 mph and blowing and drifting snow. (The Cadillac area) should dodge the ice,‘ he said.
Locker said Monday night into Tuesday morning there will be the chance for some flurries and light snow showers but the storm system isn’t supposed to start until around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Once it starts, it will remain through Wednesday morning and after it has left the area there will still be chances for lake effect snow throughout the day Wednesday.
He also said the blowing snow will persist as the strong wind gusts are expected to hang around even after the storm passes.
“The winds will start to increase Monday afternoon, last through Tuesday evening and pick back up Wednesday morning,‘ Locker said. “The wind gusts will last until the evening hours Wednesday.‘
As for snowfall amounts, Locker said the Cadillac area should expect to see between 6-8 inches but there also is the chance for locally higher amounts. While low temperatures during the storm will be in the teens to low 20s and highs in the upper 20s, windchills Tuesday and Wednesday will be in the single digits above zero, Locker said.
While the chance for ice is still there, Locker said if the Cadillac area does get ice it shouldn’t add up to much and the real concern for that is in the southern part of the state.
While there have been reports of salt shortages in the Pacific Northwest due to recent storms, Wexford County Road Commission Manager Alan Cooper said that is not a concern locally. In fact, Cooper said his agency has plenty of salt. Considering there is another storm system in the forecast at the end of the week that is a good thing.
“We base ours (salt usage amounts) on a five-year average so we make sure we have enough salt for a year. There are three things you don’t want to run out of: salt, fuel and underbody blades,‘ he said. “You can burn a set of (underbody blades) in a couple of days depending on the weather but they average is 2-4 days.‘
With Tuesday’s storm coming and the thought of another at the end of the week, Cooper said his crews were out Monday trying to get the roads cleared as much as possible and trying to get as much of the hard pack off them as they could before Tuesday’s storm hits.
Locker said Friday’s potential storm will have winds and snow but it will be less than Tuesday’s storm in both strengths of wind gusts and amount of snow accumulations.
Consumers Energy said it received help during last week’s storm from roughly 1,000 people from eight states to restore power to 231,000 customers. Of those roughly 1,000 people who came to the aid of Consumers Energy, spokesperson Roger Morgenstern said about 360 are staying in Michigan to help as it is anticipated that additional snow, ice and high winds could cause more power outages.
Morgenstern said Consumers Energy is requesting several hundred Great Lakes Mutual Assistance workers, many of them from outside Michigan, to be in place by midday Tuesday to assist with anticipated outages.