Snowstorm Could Make Thanksgiving Travel Treacherous In Upper Midwest

Forecasters calling for a blizzard in Northern Michigan

WWJ News
November 26, 2019 - 3:00 pm

(WWJ) Take note, Michiganders, if you have travel plans ahead of the holiday.

The National Weather Service says a storm system moving through Tuesday night through Wednesday evening will bring rain, snow and wind to Michigan, leading to hazardous pre-Thanksgiving travel across parts of the state.

This is the same storm that's dumped heavy snow buried highways in Colorado and Wyoming, forcing  more than 1,000 people to sleep overnight in Denver’s airport after hundreds of flights were canceled.

The NWS in Marquette, where the most snow is expected, is urging people in that area to stay home on Wednesday if at all possible. 

Forecasters are calling for a blizzard in certain areas Up North, warning that travel will become difficult to near impossible as snowfall rates of one to two inches an hour and wind gusts to 30 to 40 mph will lead to significant blowing and drifting snow and whiteout conditions.  Forecasters say heavy snow will move in from the south late Tuesday, and conditions will deteriorate rapidly.

Meanwhile, the NWS said Minneapolis-St. Paul could see its biggest November snowfall since 2010. He said northwestern Wisconsin could be hit by 8-12 inches or more of snow, and travel in northwestern Wisconsin is going to be chaotic.

With winter storm warnings from the Rockies to the Midwest, a local travel agent recommends those planning to travel in the storm's path to change their plans and leave as soon as possible.

David Fishman of Cadillac Travel in Southfield says that American is already offering weather waivers.  

As for the other airlines: "My guess is they would prefer to put you on another flight and waive your fee," he said. "So I would ask at this point time saying I know the bad weather's coming, it could cause some problems with flights...can I go on this flight and can you waive the fee, and they may do that for you." 

In metro Detroit, we're expecting wind and rain. 

The NWS has issued a Wind Advisory for a portion of Southeast Michigan, including Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Wedneday.

WWJ AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean Devore says it'll be just a bit too warm to snow when rain moves in Tuesday night; with a rumble or two of thunder possible. 

More rain is expected Wednesday, with temps in the low to mid-50s, along with gusty winds up to 40 or 50 mph into evening. 

AccuWeather is calling for a chilly Thanksgiving Day in the Detroit area, with temps in the mid-30s in the morning, with a little sunshine, warming up into the 40s during the day. 

Looking ahead, another winter storm could develop after Thanksgiving into the weekend.

It'll be chilly and dry on Black Friday, Devore said, before a wintry mix -- with rain, snow and sleet expected, making for an ugly Saturday.

Know before you go! Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. >>LISTEN LIVE!