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The northern half of our state is forecast to get several inches of snow with Thursday’s incoming storm system, but it will be a messy delivery. The National Weather Service has issued a series of Winter Storm Warnings in the Upper Peninsula and Winter Weather Advisories in the northern Lower Peninsula, detailing the impacts expected from the storm.

Basically, the upper half of the state is in line for heavy snow, blowing snow, wind gusts reaching 45 mph – all of which could create hazardous driving conditions at some point this morning and afternoon.

Areas around Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Saginaw – and all points to the south – should see mostly rain as the temperatures will be too warm for snow. A little sleet or freezing rain could be mixed into this early today before it starts to warm up.

The areas covered by the Winter Weather Advisories begin in a line from Newaygo to Big Rapids and Mount Pleasant and cover all areas north, across the Mackinac Bridge, and up to Sault Ste. Marie.

A big chunk of the central and Western U.P. is covered by Winter Storm Warnings, where the snow totals are expected to be higher. Six to 9 inches of snow are expected. The area around the Keweenaw Peninsula is under a Winter Storm Advisory.

“A system moving across Michigan this Thursday will deliver a burst of dense/heavy snow with accumulations likely,” said National Weather Service meteorologists at the Gaylord office. “Many areas will see heaviest snowfall rates during your morning or afternoon commute to work. Heavy snowfall will cause slick roadways and result in low visibilities, which will likely impact your driving.”

NWS forecast for Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Muskegon, Kalamazoo and Lansing: Rain and snow showers will continue today into this evening. High temperatures will range from the mid 30s across central Lower Michigan to the 40s across the south. Snow showers will linger into Friday as colder air moves in.

NWS forecast for Ann Arbor, Detroit and Jackson: Cold and rainy start to the morning across southeast Michigan. There is a chance that snowflakes mix in across Midland/Bay counties early this morning, but … air and road temperatures hold several degrees above freezing.

NWS forecast for Marquette and the western Upper Peninsula: The incoming winter storm will continue to move in from the south and will begin to taper off late this afternoon bringing some wet and heavy snow accumulations to the U.P. The heaviest snowfall is expected to fall over a 6 hour period with the peak during the morning through midafternoon. Drive slow on the snow.

Jan. 19 forecast for the Upper Peninsula. Image provided by the National Weather Service.

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