We’ve been telling you about a fierce winter storm brewing out west that is expected to hit the Great Lakes region starting Thursday night, for about a week now. Over the weekend, the storm looked like it had slightly changed its path according to weekend computer models, but it now appears to be on-course to give us a major winter blast.
The low pressure system will travel west to east across the United States and then take a northeasterly route as it approaches the Great Lakes. This storm is packing strong winds with a number of precipitation types ranging from torrential rain to near blizzard conditions on the northern section of the low.
This Computer Model shows the Low Pressure System basically sitting right over us come Friday Afternoon. The storm is expected to making driving treacherous .
At present, this storm will do two things when it reaches the Sault, intensify in strength and then eventually usher in the coldest air of the season so far. This cold arctic blast is expected to hang around for several days plunging our daytime temperature highs to -12c by early next week.
Accumulation could get quite heavy along with strong winds whipping the snow around, Friday morning is not looking pretty. In fact most of the day Friday will be tricky on the roads if driving.
Wait! there’s more!
As the system pushes east, it will drag the arctic air over the open waters of Lake Superior allowing for a prolonged period of lake effect snow showers. Forecasters now believe snow accumulation could exceed 30 cm by the time this system leaves the area, add in the cold air and we’re back in a traditional Northern Ontario winter.
The rest of the month looks cold and snowy.
February is flipping the trend we’ve seen all season. From early fall up to now, Sault Ste. Marie has seen a very mild winter. February is going to change that despite the fact Wiarton Willie saw his shadow (meaning an early Spring). Spring will be off in the distance for most this February. The big threat is an abundance of lake effect snow. The cold arctic blast won’t be long enough to freeze up the lakes, so the threat of lake effect snows, and lots of it this month is real.