High winds to linger through New Year; snow Tuesday

The high winds that left as many as 17,000 DTE Energy customers without power Monday in southeast Michigan are giving way to more gusts, a quick blast of snow and colder temperatures to ring in the New Year.

The National Weather Service predicts a 90% chance of snow showers Tuesday, with as much 1-3 inches possible in some spots.

"The peak period is going to be during the morning rush," said Steve Considine, a meteorologist with the weather service's White Lake Township station. "We're going to have a snowy rush hour Tuesday."

After the snow pushes out in time for New Year's Eve festivities, wind gusts are forecast to hover near 25 mph as the mercury dips into the 20s during the first hours of 2020.

Gusts could stay above 20 mph throughout New Years Day, as temperatures reach the mid-30s — near average for Jan. 1, weather service data shows.

That's a change from the 51 degrees recorded at Detroit Metro Airport at about 1 a.m. Monday as the weather system crossed into the region.

Meanwhile, the winds prompted the National Weather Service to issue a lakeshore flood warning until 4 p.m. Tuesday for St. Clair County along the shoreline of Lake St. Clair from Anchor Bay to Harsens Island. Low-lying areas faced flooding "due to persistent southwest winds of 15 to 25 mph, gusting up to 30 mph at times," the notice read.

WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reported the wind pushed water over a seawall in Fair Haven.

Metro Airport in Romulus saw sustained winds of 22 miles per hour at about 6 a.m. Monday, along with gusts as high as 39 miles per hour, while Coleman A. Young Airport in Detroit had sustained winds of 26 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 47.

By 6 p.m. Monday, the wind advisory had ended and DTE reported about 4,000 remaining customers in the dark. The utility said it hoped to have power restored to a majority of the customers by midnight. "Crews are working 16-hour shifts and working as safely and quickly and possible," said DTE spokeswoman Robin Thompson.

Adding to DTE Energy's troubles, early Monday in Auburn Hills a vehicle caught fire after high-voltage power lines fell, according to the Auburn Hills Fire Department. 

Downed powerlines came down over a parked vehicle in Auburn Hills and sparked a fire.

"Due to the high voltage of the lines, fire personnel were unable to extinguish the vehicle fire until DTE shut down the power," the fire department said in a statement. "Once the electricity was shut down, the fire was extinguished without further incident."

That fire also damaged a second nearby vehicle and a trailer. No one was hurt.