ESCANABA - The Escanaba and Manistique areas could see up to 10 inches of snowfall from approaching Winter Storm Draco, according to the National Weather Service in Marquette.
A low pressure system taking shape over the Central Plains tonight will move northeast and bring widespread moderate to heavy snowfall to much of the Upper Peninsula. Many areas of the eastern U.P. are under a winter storm warning with the imminent storm, including Delta, Menominee and Schoolcraft counties.
Menominee County was under a winter weather advisory as of this morning. Gale warnings also remain in effect along Lake Michigan throughout Menominee, Delta, and Schoolcraft counties. A gale warning means winds of 34 to 47 knots are imminent or occurring.
According to meteorologist Megan Dodson of the National Weather Service, the storm is expected to hit the Escanaba area around 6 or 7 a.m. Thursday morning, but will start even earlier in the southern U.P. near Menominee.
Snow will continue throughout the day Thursday and begin to taper off by Friday afternoon.
"The main concerns we have with this storm is obviously the snowfall, which will be heavy at times," said Dodson. Escanaba is expected to see between nine and 10 inches of snowfall with between six to 10 inches expected elsewhere in the Escanaba area. Manistique could see accumulation totals closer to 10 inches.
Wind is another concern with the storm, as winds could gust up to 35 mph.
Gusty winds are expected to start Thursday afternoon around 2 p.m. and last throughout the evening.
The National Weather Service reminds people the combination of snow and blowing snow could result in very difficult driving conditions with reduced visibilities and snow covered roadways.
The expected high temperature for Escanaba and Manistique on Thursday is 35 degrees, with lows reaching only 29 to 30 degrees.