Temps tease, then cold reality as schools close

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit — Temperatures soared into the 20s Sunday and with it the hopes of the winter weary, making the arctic blasts of the past few weeks a distant memory.


The winter blast returns Monday, with a high of 8 degrees and a low of 2, according to the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.

More than 140 school districts announced they would be closed Monday due to the cold, according to broadcast reports, including Detroit Public Schools, Centerline Public Schools, Macomb Intermediate School District and Melvindale-Northern Allen Park Schools.

Though Monday was expected to be clear and sunny, and commuters were not expected to face adverse road conditions, a wind chill advisory is in effect until noon, with the wind chill ranging between -15 degrees to -25 degrees in the morning. After noon, the wind chill will be in the negative single digits for the the rest of the day.

"This is almost close to being the third-coldest February in 140 years and the potential for the second, we just have to see how it pans out," said meteorologist Sara Schultz. "This February could end up colder than January 2014."

Temps are expected to get warmer by Tuesday, with a high of 21 degrees and chance of snow in the afternoon and evening, meteorologist Heather Orow said On Wednesday, the high is expected to reach 15 degrees.

Normal temperatures for this time of year is a high of 37 degrees, Orow said.

"It's just much colder than normal," she said. "We've been getting shots of arctic air."

On Sunday, it was so warm, yachts and pontoons dominated the minds of thousands of visitors browsing on the last day of the 57th annual Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center.

"I called Margaret and said let's go to the boat show," said Ann LaTour of Grosse Pointe Woods, eying the kayaks. "If the boats are out here, that means it's going to get warm again soon."

Her friend, Margaret Moffat of Roseville, was busy figuring out where she could put her snacks in the kayak.

"With the other boats, you just sit there, but with a kayak, at least you can get some exercise," she said.

Tom Clapp was visiting the boat show with daughters Allysea, 14, and Isabella, 9.

Allysea said she was looking for a pontoon.

"I'd like a comfortable boat where we can have a relaxing time on the water," she said.

But their father had bigger dreams.

"I like the big yachts, but my budget says 'no,' " he said.

The warmer weather Sunday was a relief, he said.

"I think it's just a tease, but in a month or so it will be all good," he said.

The boat show executives were grateful visitors took advantage of the warmer temperatures.

"The boating enthusiasts truly braved the cold to get down here for their taste of summer," said Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. "And that makes sense as it would take weeks to see this many boats and dealers on your own."

Polan said there were close to 1,000 boats at the show, which was 50,000 square feet larger than last year.

Polan said they were "very pleased with this year's Detroit Boat Show and the fact that boat sales continue to recover."

"As people are feeling better about the economy," she said, "they are ready again to spend discretionary dollars on things that are important to them, and with nearly 1 million registered boats on file, we know boating is important to the people in the state of Michigan."


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Forecast: Cold

Monday: High 8 Low 2

Tuesday: High 21 Low 11

Wednesday: High 16 Low minus-2

Thursday: High 13 Low minus-3

Friday: High 18 Low 0

Saturday: High 20 Low 10

Source: National Weather Service