This could be a big one. Consumers Energy commented as 10:15 am Friday morning:
“Consumers Energy is prepared for what is expected to be a devastating winter storm beginning early Saturday. Freezing rain is expected to begin across much of south central Michigan Saturday morning and continue for several hours. Forecasts are still being updated but as much as one-half to one inch of ice accumulation is possible in a general area from I-94 north to U.S. 10. A half inch of ice can add as much as 500 pounds to a span of power lines. Also accompanying the ice will be gusty winds and heavy snow in Northern Michigan.
“This storm will likely lead to downed wires and power outages that could last several days. Hazardous road conditions during and immediately after the storm may delay restoration and damage assessment work as we keep safety our top priority.
The warning includes Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Jackson and is in effect from 7 am Saturday to 10 am Sunday. Here is the National Weather Service statement, as of 10:15 am, Friday:
* WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Total sleet accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of one quarter to one half of an inch are expected. Northeast winds may gust as high as 40 mph.
* IMPACTS…Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel will be difficult due to icing on roadways.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The greatest icing is expected across northern parts of the warned areas.
You can always get an updated forecast from the main page of this website by scrolling down to the bottom.
The forecast shows provides context to the warning:
Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Temperature falling to around 33 by 1pm. Northeast wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Freezing rain before 9pm, then rain between 9pm and 3am, then freezing rain likely, possibly mixed with snow after 3am. Low around 23. Northeast wind 10 to 18 mph becoming southwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Freezing rain likely, possibly mixed with snow before 7am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. West wind 12 to 17 mph decreasing to 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
What can you do? Whether you are at the lake during this event or some other location, you can keep in touch with your power situation through the Consumers Energy Outage Center. You can sign up for text messages about outages that happen to you, including the predicted time of restoration. The Outage Center also includes a map that shows where power is out and estimates the number of customers affected.
At 10:15 am this morning, the Clark Lake temperature was 44 degrees. There was a light mist in the air. On the lake, the ice cover survived, sort of. Water lays on top of it and will probably not remain in place for long.
The calm before the storm.
If your house is affected by downed wires, click to learn more about the repair by clicking here.