By LISA M. HOFFMANN
IRON MOUNTAIN - A winter weather advisory has been issued for Dickinson and Iron counties with snow accumulation up to six inches by the end of the day on Thursday.
Jane Marie Wix, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Marquette, said the best chance of snow will move in late tonight and/or early Thursday morning.
Wix said there is an 80 percent chance of snow during the day on Thursday.
"It looks like as of right now, the total amounts for the Iron Mountain area is four to eight inches," Wix said. "And the snow will be moving out overnight Thursday."
Iron County has a 70 percent chance of snow during the day Thursday. Three to six inches of snow is forecast for that area.
The western Upper Peninsula may see two to four inches of snow, while Marinette County in Wisconsin, and Menominee, Delta and Marquette counties and the Eastern Upper Peninsula are expected to receive six to 10 inches of snow by Thursday night.
Wix added that there will more lake effect snow off Lake Superior on Thursday night and through the day on Friday.
The snowfall is being generated from a low pressure system taking shape over the central plains tonight and moving northeastward into lower Michigan by Thursday night before shifting into the northeast states on Friday.
The system will bring widespread moderate to heavy snowfall to much of the Upper Peninsula with areas east of a line from the Huron Mountains seeing eight inches or more of snow.
Strong north to northeast winds may gust as high as 35 to 40 mph near Lake Superior on Thursday night and may cause blowing snow and reduced visibility, especially in open areas near the Great Lakes east of the Keweenaw.
"Those traveling north toward Marquette and Lake Superior may encounter wind gusts and blowing snow," she said. "If heading that way, there is a potential hazard."
The winter weather advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday to midnight.
Wix said the snow that is predicted to fall is going to wet and packy.
Temperatures during the snowstorm will be fairly warm with Dickinson County at 30 to 31 degrees and Iron County at 29 to 30 degrees.
Due to this system, a winter storm warning is in effect from 7 a.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. (Eastern time) Friday for the Great Lakes region.
Six to 10 inches of heavy, wet snow will occur Thursday morning through Friday morning with the majority of snow falling Thursday afternoon and evening. The highest amounts of snow ill be in the higher terrain and north to northeast wind snowbelts.
Winds out of the north and near Lake Superior could gust up to 40 mph Thursday afternoon and night.
Latest data suggests the highest snow amounts may be over the Fox Cities in Wisconsin. The highest amounts are likely southeast of a line from Iron Mountain to Antigo, Wis., to Marshfield, Wis.
The combination of heavy snow with a north wind of 15 to 30 mph will generate plenty of blowing and drifting of the new snow and greatly reduce visibilities.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is email@example.com.