Winter storm watch to start at 10 a.m. Wednesday

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

After a cold system dumped snow across southeast Michigan to start the work week, Metro Detroit residents can expect another round starting Wednesday morning that could dump up to 7 inches and complicate commutes.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from 10 a.m. Wednesday through 1 a.m. Thursday for Midland, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

The heaviest snow is expected between 3-7 p.m., and visibilities could be low, the weather service predicts. Accumulations of 4-7 inches are possible, mainly between Interstates 69 and 94.

“A narrow band of snowfall rates in excess of 2 inches per hour may affect a portion of the area during the Wednesday evening commute,” weather service meteorologists said in a statement.

The new snowfall come less than 48 hours after the region witnessed some of the heaviest so far this season.

Between late Monday and early Tuesday, totals reported to the weather service included 5.8 inches in Ann Arbor; 4.9 in Berkley; 4.7 in Farmington Hills; 4.5 in Milford and Eastpointe; 4.4 in Garden City; 4 in Romulus, Brighton and Dearborn; and 3.1 in Roseville.

The conditions are believed to have contributed to at least one death.

A 49-year-old Royal Oak man with a history of health issues died early Tuesday after reportedly clearing snow from his driveway, police said in a statement.

“Residents are reminded that snow removal is considered a strenuous activity and those with health concerns should be mindful when shoveling snow or seek assistance,” the release read.

In Ferndale, leaders have declared a snow emergency starting early Wednesday.

After dropping in the low teens with wind chills near zero, the weather service forecasts temperatures topping out in the 20s on Wednesday, about 10 degrees below normal, records show.

Similar conditions are expected through Friday, resulting from “an extended period of north winds bringing the air mass straight out of the Arctic into the Great Lakes,” said Cory Behnke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in White Lake Township.

“This is typical winter weather that we see in December across southeast Michigan.”