Snow, cold settle in southeast Mich., while U.P. gets socked by ice
Detroit — Many people in Michigan woke up to a fresh round of snow that covered the ground and their vehicles Tuesday or, for those Up North, blanketed a whole lot more.
National Weather Service meteorologist Cory Behnke said 1-3 inches are expected in southeast Michigan on Tuesday. The record for snowfall on Dec. 31 in Detroit is 3.4 inches, recorded in 1969.
Winter hit quite a bit harder in the Upper Peninsula.
Ice and snow toppled hundreds of trees in Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula and cut off power to thousands of people, authorities said Tuesday.
“It’s hard to explain how many trees and power lines are down. Please be patient,” the Chippewa County sheriff’s office said on Facebook.
Severe weather developed over the weekend and got worse Monday. Cloverland Electric Cooperative, which serves five counties and Sault Ste. Marie, said it could take days to completely restore power.
“It’s all hands on deck – or in buckets, etc. – and we’re fortunate many of our two-man crews are now four-man crews,” thanks to help from other utilities, Cloverland said.
The sheriff’s office said trees still were falling Tuesday from the weight of snow and ice.
“Some of our crews have made progress and restored power and only minutes later, another tree will snap and cause another outage,” Cloverland said in a Tuesday afternoon update, noting that 15,000 homes and businesses were dark. “By all accounts – from our line crews to system controllers – this historic event is extreme.”
In western Michigan, more than 50 snowplows were clearing Kent County roads. Rain on Monday turned to ice and snow. Five inches (12.7 centimeters) of snow were reported overnight.
In Metro Detroit, the high temperature hovered around 33 degrees, and most of the day will be in the low 30s. While it's too early to tell where the year will shake out in terms of climate data — that's expected to come days after the new year begins, Behnke said — 2019 brought two more inches of rain than is typical for a year, 35.8 inches compared to 33.5.
If Tuesday's snowfall matches expectations, even on the low end, 2019 will also exceed the annual seasonal average in Detroit of 11.2 inches. That season consists of November and December, said Sara Pampreen, a National Weather Service meteorologist. The National Weather Service says 10.9 inches of snow had fallen this year as of midnight.
But while December in Detroit typically brings more than 9 inches of snowfall, December 2019 will fall short: less than 1.5 inches of snow has fallen before Tuesday.
After the high winds Monday that knocked out power for 24,000 homes and businesses in southeast Michigan at its peak, only 487 DTE Energy customers are without power Tuesday, according to the utility's Outage Center.
According to FlightAware.com, a flight tracking website, only 13 flights into or out of Metro Airport in Romulus are delayed, and three have been canceled.