Winter storm watch in effect for SE Michigan Monday
After days of unseasonably warm temperatures, Metro Detroit could get covered in ice Monday afternoon during a storm predicted to stretch into the evening.
The National Weather Service has declared a winter storm watch through 3 a.m. Tuesday, with the bulk of it to hit southeast Michigan mid-Monday and into the evening and overnight hours.
“The biggest challenge with a storm is the precipitation type we’re looking at: sleet and freezing rain switching over to rain in the evening,” said Sara Schultz, a meteorologist at the weather service office in White Lake Township. “So we are looking at the possibility of icing.”
Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy state director and Michigan State Police commander of emergency management and homeland security, urged residents to prepare for the storm.
“Freezing rain has the ability to be very destructive, causing both long-term power outages and hazardous travel conditions,” Kelenske said. “I strongly recommend anyone who may be affected by this storm to ensure they have enough supplies to last three days per person. Travel may not be possible right away.”
Those living north of Detroit should be especially vigilant, Schultz said, since ice is expected more in areas north of the city through the Saginaw Valley because temperatures will be colder. Highs on Monday in the Detroit area are expected around 34 degrees, while the mercury is expected to reach 30 in areas north.
The storm is coming from a low pressure system. But by Tuesday, temperatures are predicted to be back in the mid-40s, which is above normal and what the region has experienced in recent weeks, Schultz said.
Normally at this time of year, temperatures reach the low 30s, which will return after Wednesday, just in time for New Year’s Eve.
The ice storm that is predicted comes a month after the region’s first snowstorm, which dumped 6 inches on Detroit and record levels of 15.5 inches in some areas of Oakland County.
Road conditions for travelers are available at michigan.gov/roadconditions and michigan.gov/drive. Weather and road conditions are also available at the Michigan State Police travel advisory hotline, (800) 381-8477.