After snowfall, temps to drop in Metro Detroit
Detroit — Southeast Michigan is covered in white Saturday as snow continues to trek through the region until the evening — but temperatures will drop through the weekend.
An upper-level low pressure system moved into the area brought the snow that started falling overnight and continues through Saturday evening, according to meteorologists with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.
By Saturday afternoon, Metro Detroit received roughly 4 inches of snow and can expect another inch before snow tapers off at 8 p.m., said Alex Manion, a meteorologist with the NWS.
"We're expecting snow to taper off by evening hours and stop overnight," Manion said. "Right now we're at 21 degrees but with the winds, it feels like 7 degrees."
Areas of snow will continue over far southeast lower Michigan into the early evening and then taper off into flurries after 8 p.m. The most persistent area of snow will concentrate southeast of a line from Detroit to Adrian, where ½ to 1 inch of additional snow is expected, the agency tweeted out at 5 p.m.
In Metro Detroit, many motorists were driving well below posted speed limits along freeways due to slushy conditions. As snow continues to accumulate, roads with a gusty north wind will lead to some driving snow and make it difficult to travel.
Michigan State Police said Metro South Post troopers were working several crashes in the region. One includes a jack-knifed semi-truck on the north Southfield ramp to westbound Interstate 96.
State police officials warn motorists to be extra cautious when venturing out in the extreme cold this weekend.
"Things are still looking good across the district," MSP tweeted Saturday. "A few spin outs here and there from drivers going too fast. So keep it slow, clean off your entire car before driving and move over for emergency vehicles and snow plows. Take your time and you’ll be fine."
Temperatures in southeast Michigan are expected to get even colder over the second half of the weekend and stay that way through Tuesday.
The high on Sunday may only get to 16 degrees with a low of about 1 degree, but Manion said it will feel in the negatives.
"It will be substantially colder on Sunday," Manion said. "While we do taper off snow tonight we're going to have a cold front push through at about 31 mph and then stay between the upper single digits to lower teens. With the winds moving in it's going to feel like the negative single digits."
It will be fairly dry on Sunday, but as the temperature falls Sunday night, the wind chill could plummet to between zero and -15 degrees across the region. The wind chill could fall as low as -12 in Metro Detroit Sunday night through Monday morning. It will warm up to -9 degrees Monday night through Tuesday morning, according to the agency.
The weekend's arctic-like temperatures are a significant departure from the norm. The average monthly high temperature for January in Detroit is 32 degrees and the average monthly low is 19, according to the weather service's records.
Detroit has only seen a fraction of the snow compared to average so far this month. As of Thursday, Detroit had seen a little more than a ½ of snow, the agency said. The average monthly snowfall in Detroit for January is 12.5 inches.
At Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport less than 10 percent of all flights coming into Detroit are on time. More than half are delayed, according to the airport tracker.
The snowfall is part of a wall of hazardous weather trekking from the Dakotas, across the Great Lakes states and into New England. The National Weather Service has warned that conditions in the Northeast “could approach blizzard criteria.”
Manion said the areas that will receive the most snow in Michigan are counties bordering Ohio and Indiana.
More than 460 flights were canceled Saturday morning at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and about 50 flights were canceled at Midway International Airport.
The snowfall is part of a wall of hazardous weather that trekked from the Dakotas and across the Great Lakes states, headed toward New England. The National Weather Service has warned that conditions in the Northeast “could approach blizzard criteria.” Some areas in the storm’s path saw ice instead of snow.
The storm was forecast to bring between up to 10 inches of snow to the Midwest before walloping the Northeast on Sunday, where it could dump up to 2 feet of snow.
Amtrak canceled some trains Saturday from Chicago to Washington and New York and between New York and Boston and Pennsylvania on Sunday.
Sunday: Partly sunny with a high near 16 degrees and a low of about 1 degree.
Monday: Mostly sunny with a high near 16 degrees and a low of about 5 degrees.
Tuesday: Some afternoon snow with a high near 30 degrees and a low of about 29 degrees. Snow is likely to fall after 1 p.m.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a high near 37 degrees and a low of about 23 degrees. There's a chance of rain and snow.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a high near 31 degrees and a low of 19 degrees. There's also a chance of snow.
Source: National Weather Service
The Associated Press contributed.