GAYLORD (WWJ/AP) – Heavy snow is falling in parts of northern Michigan, with more than 5 inches already accumulated and forecasts for up to 14 inches before the Midwest’s first major snowstorm of the season ends.

The National Weather Service says snowfall began to build Thursday morning in the northern Lower Peninsula. Heavy snow was falling near Gaylord in Otsego County, with 5.3 inches on the ground at 1 p.m. Missaukee County reports 5 inches and Kalkaska County has 4.5 inches Thursday afternoon.

The weather service says 8 to 14 inches of snow will fall Thursday and Friday in parts of northern lower Michigan. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is expected to get 8 to 13 inches of snow in places by Friday afternoon.

The combination of snow and blowing snow will result in very difficult driving conditions. with reduced visibilities and
snow-covered roadways in upper Michigan.  The Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 7 a.m. Thursday until 1 p.m. Friday.

Here in southern lower Michigan, forecasters said the rain we’re been getting could change to snow Thursday night, leaving a coating of maybe inch.  Snow showers and strong winds are in the forecast for Friday and, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Bowers, there’s about a 50-50 we’ll have a white Christmas this year in Southeast Michigan.

Here’s the 7 Day Forecast for the Detroit area: 

Thursday: Rain – Hi 46, Lo 30

Friday: Snow Showers – Hi 36, Lo 25

Saturday: Partly Cloudy – Hi 34, Lo 25

Sunday: Partly Cloudy – Hi 37, Lo 25

Monday (Christmas Eve): Mostly Cloudy – Hi 39, Lo 27

Tuesday: (Christmas Day): Chance of Snow – Hi 39, Lo 28

For the latest forecast, keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. To check out the live, local radar, or for complete weather details anytime, visit our weather page.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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