Storm could bring foot of snow to parts of Mich. - WNEM TV 5

Storm could bring foot of snow to parts of Mich.

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Forecasters say a strong storm could bring up to a foot of snow to parts of northern Michigan by Friday.

The National Weather Service says parts of the state are expected to see snowfall starting Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Gusty winds are expected to contribute to hazardous driving conditions. The weather service says power outages are possible.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for parts of the state.

Locally, Wednesday will be a quiet day, but looking ahead to Thursday and Friday, a strong storm system will arrive early Thursday morning and last through Friday afternoon. 

Thursday will start with a rain and snow mix with a changeover to mostly rain by late Thursday morning into Thursday afternoon. The best potential for snow accumulations will be Thursday night behind a powerful cold front.  While snow amounts are still a little uncertain due to possible variations with the storm track, it appears the most snow will fall north of Gratiot, Midland, and Arenac counties where 3-6+ inches are possible.  

Generally, 1-3" of snow will be found elsewhere. Hazardous travel is a certainty, with windy conditions developing on Friday as colder air pours into the region. Blowing and drifting snow will become likely on Friday as winds increase (gusts in the 30s and 40s) with wind chills running in the teens and low 20s. Conditions will improve through the weekend with quiet conditions returning Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

The weather service says 6 to 12 inches could fall in areas including Alpena in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. Officials in Marquette are predicting 8 inches or more for parts of the Upper Peninsula. Snow also is forecast for West Michigan, including 3 to 5 inches south of Holland.

The storm already is bearing down on the Rocky Mountain region.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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