BY NATHAN PAYNE
TRAVERSE CITY — Another four inches of snow could fall in the next 48 hours, continuing a seemingly relentless blast of lake-effect snow in northwest Michigan.
This morning's snowfall closed area schools and also threw a monkey wrench into another morning commute. One car wreck closed Three Mile Road between Airport and Hammond roads.
Weather observers across the region reported storm snowfall totals between five and six inches by 9 a.m., according to the National Weather Service office in Gaylord.
"I think we're in a really high chance of having a white Christmas," said Tim Locker, a meteorologist with the Weather Service.
The lake effect snow was the result of a cold air mass that passed through the area overnight that combined with north winds, Locker said.
The cold front helped push temperatures down to a low of 9 degrees by mid-morning.
The new snow helped push the season tally to 29.3 inches for the year. It's a far cry from the record of 65.7 inches that had fallen by Dec. 16, 1995, but it still is about nine inches ahead of normal, Locker said.
About 16 inches fell overnight at the office south of Gaylord where Locker works.
The Weather Service doesn't expect the snowfall to subside during the next few days, either.
Forecasters predict temperatures will rise into the 20s during the coming days and up to four inches of snow could fall by the end of the day Tuesday.