TRAVERSE CITY – Northwest Michigan residents aren't phased by a few inches of snow and 20-degree temperatures, but today's high winds make the weather outside feel frightful.

National Weather Service meteorologist Justin Arnott said the region can expect 1 to 3 inches of snow today and wind gusts between 20 and 30 mph.

"Wind this afternoon is going to make traveling pretty hazardous," he said.

Arnott said tomorrow's weather will be better suited for travel, since winds are expected to die down and the day's snowfall should total just one inch.

Snow is starting to accumulate in the region, but westerly communities are still inches behind the "snow belt" between Kalkaska and Gaylord. Arnott said that region has 3 to 5 inches on the ground.

"It's still not to the point where there's snowmobiling yet," he said. "I haven't done any snowshoeing yet. There's still not quite enough out there."

Skiers, snowboarders and tubers at Mt. Holiday don't rely on nature to blanket the hill before they can enjoy it. Mt. Holiday marketing coordinator Natalie Myers said the snow machines started running Dec. 27 and haven't stopped.

"It's been great," she said. "I think once the snow started flying everyone got winter fever. They're bringing their skis out. We've had a lot more people from out of town, which is great. We've seen a lot of local faces as well."

Cross-country skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers are still waiting for their winter sports season to start.

John Roth, sales associate at Don Orr Ski 'n Beach Haus in Traverse City, said the area needs 2 to 3 more inches of snow. He hopes today's blanket will stick.

"We're enthusiastic," he said. "We see the snow coming down. This is a good thing."

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