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After wild winds, cold and snow in region's forecast

Tom Greenwood and Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Erika Foley might want to consider where she is this time of year: Michigan in the fall.

The Livonia woman quickly walked to her car Monday evening, sans coat. She said she left it at home in the morning because of the warm temperatures.

By 7 p.m., she regretted the move.

"It's horrible," Foley said of the wind that whipped around Metro Detroit all day that at one point left more than 200,000 without power.

She'll have to remember her coat again Tuesday, when the National Weather Service predicts temperatures topping out in the 30s along with a slight chance of snow showers.

Highs are forecast to hover in the 30s, with lows in the 20s, through Thanksgiving, when another chance of snow is expected. As a result of the winds knocking out power, Detroit Public Schools said Cody Campus, Dixon, Dossin, Emerson, Henderson, Mann, Renaissance and Jerry L. White schools would be closed Tuesday, according to the district's website.

That's a turnaround from Monday, when Detroit Metro Airport reached a high of 58 degrees — 13 above normal, according to weather service data.

Besides the warm, there was wind — gusts that led to more than 200,000 power outages at the peak. The weather service said winds reached 62 mph in Macomb Township, 60 in Ypsilanti, 58 at Metro Airport, 52 in Ann Arbor and 49 in Adrian. In their wake, tree limbs and power lines fell.

According to DTE Energy, outages peaked at 170,000 for its customers and dropped to 130,000 as of 9 p.m. Monday.

The hardest hit areas included Wayne County with 50,000 outages, Oakland with 30,000 and Macomb with 30,000 and Washtenaw with 20,000 Monday afternoon, according to DTE. More than 1,000 downed power lines were reported throughout DTE Energy's service area. (See the DTE power outage map.)

By Monday night, DTE outages in Macomb were down to 17,000 and 12,000 in Washtenaw.

Crews hope to restore power for the majority of customers by Wednesday, DTE Energy officials said.

About 30,000 customers of Consumers Energy were without power, according to a tweet from the company about 6 p.m. By about 10 p.m., it was down to 30,000 outages.

A high wind warning in effect for most of southeast Michigan expired at 10 p.m.

The high winds prompted a gale warning until 5 a.m. Tuesday by the National Weather Service for Michigan waters. Wave heights were expected at 11 feet with a maximum height of up to 16 feet possible on Lake Superior, the weather service said. Gale warnings were in effect for also for southern Lake Huron until Tuesday morning. Most marine zones were experiencing high-end gale force winds; Lake Erie has a storm force winds. As winds diminish overnight, only the open waters of Lake Huron will hold gale force winds.

Ryan Rose of Detroit walked to his car downtown after work Monday evening. He said — surprise! — the weather changed since he drove to work Monday morning.

"It's pretty windy, very cold," he said.

Meanwhile, Ian Issacs of Dearborn Heights pumped gas downtown and braved the high winds.

"Right off the water the wind was whipping," he said. "I'll definitely be staying in tonight."

Winds knocked down power lines in Detroit, including on West Chicago near Abington, where a power line sat in a flooded street, according to police.

Several power lines were reported down in Roseville, Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores, according to police with the South East Regional Emergency Services Authority.

In Royal Oak, high winds downed about eight power lines and blinking traffic lights, police said. About a half-dozen downed trees blocked intersections throughout the city.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority closed the bridge's right lanes both northbound and southbound Monday due to the high winds and issued a warning to motorists.

(313) 222-2311

Detroit News Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.

Extended forecast

Tuesday: Breezy with a 40 percent chance of light snow showers. Highs of 33 to 37.

Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with lows of 23 to 27.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with highs of 34 to 38.

Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with lows of 26 to 30.

Thanksgiving Day: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 32 to 36.

Thursday night: Mostly clear with lows of 19 to 23.

Friday: Partly cloudy with highs of 29 to 33.

Friday night: Mostly cloudy with lows of 25 to 29.