Snow appears hard to come by through next week - WNEM TV 5

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Snow appears hard to come by through next week

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

As we enter the month of December, we've been greeted by above-average temperatures and plenty of sunshine. While many seem to be enjoying the warmer temperatures and lack of snow on the ground, besides our pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm, things aren't looking so great for those on the other side of the snow aisle.

We're in Michigan after all, where snowmobilers, skiers, snowboarders, and winter resort operators all await that next coating of fresh powder. The same is true for those who own snowplows to make that extra buck during the winter.

No matter the different needs for snow, it appears the warm temperatures won't help the cause through next week. We can see this by looking at long-term weather models, both the European and GFS models, as well as the Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 Day Temperatures (which is attached in the article).

This temperature outlook by the CPC shows that Michigan has a 90% chance of seeing above-average temperatures through December 13th, which is next Sunday. Putting that into perspective, our average highs for this time of year are in the middle and upper 30s.

When looking at the GFS and European weather models, it shows that not only will our temperatures at the surface stay near to above 40 through next week, but our temperatures higher up in the atmosphere will also stay above freezing.

In the winter time, we often look where the freezing level in the atmosphere is to determine if precipitation will fall as rain or snow. The higher the freezing level is above ground, the more likely we are to see rain. Simply put, the higher the freezing level, the more time any frozen precipitation has to melt before reaching us at the surface.

A pressure level we often look at for the freezing level during the winter is 850 millibars, which is roughly 5000 feet above the surface. Through next week, both the European and GFS model show temperatures at this level of the atmosphere staying largely above the freezing point. It's not until Sunday that temperatures start to show signs of falling below that point.

With all this in mind, it appears that precipitation that will fall late next week will fall as rain. It's also looking like we could be in for a wet weekend, next weekend, too.

Important: Always remember that computer models change frequently the further out they project, so it's important to take them for what they are, projections. With any significant changes, you'll always be informed!

Something Interesting To Keep An Eye On: The 7 AM run of the GFS weather model is actually showing 60 degrees in parts of Mid-Michigan next Saturday. It's far too early to say if this will happen, but it'll be interesting to see if it actually pans out.

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