Temps expected to climb in time for Thanksgiving

Leonard N. Fleming, and Christine Ferretti

Temperatures were expected to warm up in Metro Detroit this week following the record-breaking weekend snowfall that blanketed the region, knocking out power to some 40,000.

Metro Detroit was slammed with snow, and, depending on the ZIP code, included record-setting totals for a 24-hour period in some areas — for example, 16.8 inches in Livingston County’s Howell — helping to knock out power to thousands, some 10,000 of whom remained without electricity Sunday evening.

Although brisk, with temperatures in the 30s into Monday with a 30 percent chance of snow, temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s by Wednesday and hit the 50s on Thanksgiving.

There could be light snow Monday, but by the middle to end of the week, “we’ll start to work this snowpack off, and it starts to melt it some over the next few days,” said Mike Richter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Showers, he said, are expected Thursday night and into Friday.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 16 inches fell in Hartland;12 inches in Rochester Hills; Brighton, 11.5 inches; Armada, 10 inches; Waterford, 9.7; Garden City, 8.2; Eastpointe, 4.5; Royal Oak, 5; Livonia, 7; and as little as 3.5 inches in Southgate and 2.2 inches in Grosse Ile.

“Tooooooo much in Waterford. I would say about foot. ... Still coming down,” said Bonnie Beacon Jones on The Detroit News’ Facebook page.

Less than two days after Metro Detroit had temperatures in the 60s, the snowfall totals were startling. For Detroit, the 24-hour snowfall of 6 inches surpassed the record of 1.4 inches set in 1893. Flint saw a record snowfall of 10 inches Saturday; its previous record of 4.4 inches set in 1974, said Deb Elliot, a meteorologist with the weather service.

“We don’t traditionally see the big ones like this in November,” said Richter. “The storm was pretty strong. The heavy snowfall really just remained in the same area for just a long duration.”

The National Weather Service offices in White Lake Township got 15.5 inches of snow, Elliot said. The total was the most the office has had in a 24-hour period since it moved to the building in 1994.

Elliott said holiday weather will be cloudy with little chance of rain in the afternoon and evening. Rain is expected Friday.

Saturday’s steady snowfall didn’t lend much of a hand to Michigan ski resorts, but the chilly temperatures helped crews ramp up snow production for this year’s season.

At Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs, crews opened up the snow guns on Friday for the first time. The weekend storm yielded only a couple of inches, but has people excited about the winter sports season, said general manager Jim Bartlett.

Snowfall amounts? Depends where you live

“It’s a big attitude boost for people,” he said. “It gets folks all fired up and thinking about winter.”

The conditions are vastly different than what most resorts had last year. Early and heavy snowfall allowed many to open before Thanksgiving. Generally, ski resorts aim to open by the holiday weekend or the first weekend in December. The season winds down in early April.

“I doubt we’ll get Thanksgiving or the weekend, but we’ll be trying,” Bartlett said. “Hopefully, we’ll be open by the first weekend in December.”

Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls also got a start on producing snow late Friday and accumulated a couple of inches from Saturday’s snowfall.

Usually about 72 hours of good snow-making is needed to get things up and running, said Erin Ernst, a spokeswoman for Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain.

“We always like to open as soon as possible,” she said. “We are making snow at every opportunity we can so we can open up the slopes. We’ll just have to keep our eye on the forecast and see what we can do.”

Meanwhile, about 10,000 DTE customers remained without power by 8 p.m. Sunday. Stephanie Beres, a DTE spokeswoman, said the hardest hit areas are in the western Wayne County and Livonia area.


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Staff Writer George Hunter contributed.