Weather: The calm after the storm
A storm that dumped more than 5 inches of snow across Metro Detroit, snarling traffic and cutting power to thousands, is pushing east and leaving cooler, calmer conditions in its wake.
The heavy, wet snow and ice are blamed for creating hazardous driving conditions.
The freeways were, for the most part, clear Friday morning but numerous crashes were reported on Detroit-area roadways.
Schools were shut for the day Friday in the Detroit Public Schools Community District and some other districts due to the weather.
DTE Energy reports 74,000 of its customers were affected and 62,000 had no power as of Friday morning. Outages are concentrated in Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland and Macomb counties.
Some areas, such as Wixom in Oakland County, were hit with as much as 8.5 inches of snow while Farmington Hills saw 5.8 inches. Dearborn in Wayne County only registered 2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
“I would describe it as a winter storm,” said meteorologist Alex Manion of the National Weather Service office in White Lake Township. “It was just a really tight radius. The actual, heavier snow fell down in the afternoon. You’re talking snow rates of an inch, inch-and-a-half per hour. Also, the changeover from rain to snow was earlier in Oakland County relative to eastern Wayne County.”
Manion said these types of storms do happen in March “when you are battling higher sun elevation and temperatures tread around that 30-degree mark.”
The wacky weather that went from the low 60s and sunshine on Wednesday to rain, heavy snow and temps in the 40s will see 30 and 40-degree days from Friday into Sunday. But by nightfall, temps will plummet to below freezing in the upper teens and lower 20s.
As for the snowfall: Manion said we might have a snow-rain-sleet mix on Monday night into Tuesday, but not guaranteed.
What is guaranteed, he said, is that winter weather patterns are not quite over.
Friday: Mostly sunny with a high near 39 degrees and a low of about 24 degrees. Windy with gusts as high as 24 mph during the day.
Saturday: Sunny with a high near 39 degrees and a low of about 22 degrees.
Sunday: Sunny with a high near 40 degrees and a low of about 26 degrees.
Monday: Mostly sunny with a high near 41 degrees and a low of about 33 degrees. Showers likely at night.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Temperatures will reach a high near 43 degrees and a low of about 29 degrees.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Temperatures will reach a high near 39 degrees.
Source: National Weather Service