January 2014 is officially the snowiest month ever recorded in Metro Detroit, according to National Weather Service.
Metro Detroit has seen of 39.1 inches of snowfall after a light dusting of 0.8 inches fell on Metro Detroit Thursday night. The mark is the most the area has endured since the weather service started recording snowfall amounts in 1880, breaking the previous mark of 38.4 inches recorded in February 1908.
“It’s not a once-in-a-century weather event, maybe once every decade or two,” said meteorologist Dave Gurney.
And Mother Nature is not done yet. Metro Detroit is expected to get up to an inch Friday night, and 1-3 inches Saturday.
The good news is that temperatures are expected to continue to climb to the upper 20s on Friday and above normal in the mid- to upper-30s for the first time since Jan. 15, Gurney said.
Thursday night’s quick bout of snow and windy conditions reduced visibility for drivers in southeast Michigan to less than one mile in some areas, the weather service website said.
Wayne County Road Commission had its full fleet of 100 salt trucks plowing and treating roads Thursday night, according to Cindy Dingell, Wayne County deputy chief operating officer. She said the county is erring on the side of caution, since conservative weather predictions caught drivers off guard with 3.5 inches of snow Sunday.
“It’s just enough to gum things up,” Dingell said. “Last Sunday, we were expected to only get a dusting and we got 3 ˝ inches.”
Over the past 40 days, county salt truck drivers have only had five days off, she said.
“I'm proud of our crews,” Dingell said. “We’ve had good rate of call-ins and, bless their hearts, they do this on weekends, during holidays like Christmas. They are some of the hardest-working people.”
The county has not only been tapping overtime hours, but salt supplies, too. As of Friday, Wayne County used 58,000 tons of salt, including 11,000 tons during the polar vortex in the first week of January, the equivalent of two salt domes, Dingell said.
Wayne County used 68,000 tons of salt for all of last winter, she said.