Arctic air settles in, with snow squalls possible Thursday
The wintry mix Tuesday and Wednesday will give way to colder conditions through the weekend and beyond, with the forecast for Saturday and Sunday 10 degrees below normal.
Arctic air returned Thursday, with highs of 29 and lows of 11, freezing any water on the ground. Snow is likely after 1 p.m. Thursday, and brings the potential for lake-effect snow showers and squalls later in the day, the National Weather Service said.
"This activity may lead to intense bursts of snow resulting in some accumulation and reduced visibility," the weather service said. "Hazardous driving conditions could develop during the Thursday evening and Friday morning commutes."
The thermometer is expected to reach the teens Friday, then plummet to single digits overnight, with wind chill readings nearing minus 10, according to the weather service.
The forecast calls for highs to hover near 20 on Saturday and Sunday, about 10 degrees below normal, with more subzero wind chills possible at night.
Snow could reappear Monday as the mercury tops out in the teens, the weather service said.
"We haven't had much of a winter so far until the last week," said Danny Costello, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. "We are in the middle of winter, so we might as well get it."
After that, there's no warm-up in sight. The long-range forecast shows "a high probability for temperatures to remain well below normal into early February," the weather service said.
That is a shift from highs reaching the lower 40s on Wednesday.
Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, which closed Tuesday due to icy conditions, reported 0.69 inches of rain, tying a record for the date set in 1898, weather service data shows.
Before Tuesday's ice gave way to rain, school districts across the region, include Armada Area Schools and Lake Orion Community Schools, cancelled classes Wednesday.
The weather conditions were believed to be a factor in a semitrailer crash that closed westbound I-96 at Livernois in Detroit around 8 a.m. Wednesday and spilled debris in the eastbound lanes.
In addition, the iconic pedestrian bridge at the long-shuttered Packard Plant, which was once part of the plant's assembly line, likely collapsed Wednesday due in part to age and extreme weather fluctuations, a spokesman for the property owner said.
In addition, flooding prompted a few suspended hours of the QLINE — a streetcar service that travels between downtown Detroit to the city’s New Center area.
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Thursday: Mostly cloudy; high 30, low 10.
Friday: Mostly cloudy; high 14, low 4.
Saturday: Partly sunny; high 6, low 9.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy with chance of snow; high near 24, low around 13.
Source: National Weather Service