Winter weather advisory for Metro Detroit, but will totals hit top 10 for February?

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The seesawing weather across southeast Michigan that melted much of the snow from last week's storm has shifted again, bringing cold air and several more inches of snow expected to end the workweek.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 6 p.m. Thursday until 8 a.m. Friday for much of lower Michigan, with 2-4 inches of snow expected to follow a low pressure system lifting northeast through the region late Thursday into Friday.

Tommy Moss of Ferndale brushes snow off his car along Spencer Street in Ferndale on Feb. 3. Another 2-4 inches is predicted for Metro Detroit by Friday.

The snow is slated to start around 6 p.m. Thursday for areas closer to Interstate 69, while those north could see flakes by midnight, said Megan Varcie, a meteorologist with the weather service station in White Lake Township.

"This will continue through the Friday morning commute," she said. "There’s potential for snow-covered roadways, slippery conditions for drivers. The main impact will just be hazardous traveling conditions. It’s important to take it slow on the road."

The blast follows Detroit Metro Airport recording 6.3 inches of snow on Feb. 17. Communities across southeast Michigan and beyond issued snow emergencies and school districts canceled classes. 

Temperatures dropped into the teens over the weekend then rose into the 40s. On Tuesday, temperatures reached the warmest reading this month, 55, at Detroit Metro Airport, according to the weather service.

The latest snowfall would boost the totals for a month that has already seen snow pile up.

Through Wednesday, Detroit Metro Airport recorded 19 inches, or about 8.4 above average, NWS data shows.

That already ranks among the top 20 snowiest Februaries on record. To reach the top 10, this month's total would need to beat the 23.4 from 2014 (currently 10th place).

Fifth is 27.6 from 1926, while the all-time snowiest February was 1938, when 38.4 inches of snow were reported, according to the weather service.

But there's not much chance for another snowy blast after Friday, when the weather service calls for highs in the upper 20s and lows in the teens. The average high in late February is in the upper 30s.

Saturday and Sunday should be warmer and partly cloudy, with the mercury reaching the low 30s.

Similar conditions are forecast for Monday.

The shift is "just kind of par for the course for the wintertime," Varcie said. "We see lots of fluctuations in the temperatures. That’s what helps drive these storms."