A major winter storm is developing in the central U.S. that promises to give areas west of Sault Ste. Marie over the next 48 hours its first taste of winter 2016.
Special weather statements have been issued by Environment Canada for the Superior West region, it’s expected that the storm will track further east Saturday into Northeastern Ontario, though the exact track is still uncertain.
What that means for Sault Ste. Marie is a mixed bag of precipitation starting with rain then changing to snow overnight Saturday. The winds will blow from the north meaning lake effect snows are likely on the Michigan side of Lake Superior. Temperatures will nose dive for the Sault come Saturday going from extremely mild conditions Friday (forecast to be 16c) to near freezing Saturday afternoon. The cold air will stay in place for several days before another rebound in temperatures later in the week.
The call right now is 1 to 2cm of snow accumulation by Sunday morning.
Areas to the north could see substantially more snow on the ground as this system heads out of the area Sunday morning.
Environment Canada reports that snowfall accumulation in excess of 10 centimetres is possible as a low pressure system developing over the Central Plains States is forecast to track over Lake Superior Saturday. Rain or snow will develop Thursday night ahead of this system before changing to snow towards Friday morning.
The heaviest snow is expected Friday into Friday night and will be accompanied by gusty winds resulting in some blowing snow. Areas further away from Lake Superior are expected to receive the highest accumulation where amounts may exceed 15 or 20 centimetres. The snow is expected to end Saturday and move into Northeastern Ontario Saturday night.