One of the primary drivers of lake-effect snow is the wind. Thursday will be the most active day this week. Lake-effect snow will likely be produced by all five Great lakes.
Michigan Area Snow:
As you wake up Thursday morning in Lower Michigan, snow will likely be falling across the Northern and Western portions of the lake, with the heaviest totals racking up near the lakefront. As much as a foot of snow will fall–if not more in certain areas. Much of the state will at least deal with snow showers. This means an inland city like Detroit may receive up to an inch of snowfall. The snow in this portion of the state will go down as the afternoon progresses, while in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it will begin to ramp up.
Most of the UP will be dry during Thursday, but winds will increase ahead of an upper-low to the North. A widespread burst of a moderate to heavy snow will form from the North, diving down into the UP Friday morning and lingering into the afternoon. That snow will also make it into the northern half of Lower Michigan around midday Friday. The rest of the state may deal with some snow showers as well. Of course, travel will be difficult if you run into any of these snow squalls, so keep your eyes to the radar.
New York Snow:
Portions of the New York State are going to get slammed with snow, as two distinct lake-effect snow bands pound the region. The snow band, which brought snow to Buffalo on Wednesday, will shift to the south for Thursday. This band will dump over a foot of snow on the region, especially around Erie, PA and Buffalo through Friday night. Also due to the strong convection, we will not rule out a few rumbles of thunder.
NAM Future radar at 10pm et Thursday.
A new lake-effect snow band will form on Thursday coming off from Lake Ontario, impacting the Watertown, NY area. Up to two feet of snow may fall in localized areas from this band through Friday night. Both of these New York lake-effect snow squalls will shut off by midday Friday, as winds shift and an upper-low begins to enter the picture.