SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - Sleet, freezing rain and snow are expected to hit Metro Detroit Thursday night.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect though Friday morning, with 2 to 4 inches of snow possible in Southeast Michigan.
CBS 62 Chief Meteorologist Jim Madaus says we can expect snow mixing with sleet and freezing rain Thursday evening, followed by a heavier snowfall overnight.
Poor visibility is possible on area freeways and you’ll want to allow yourself some extra time for the Friday morning commute, with an additional inch of snow accumulation possible.
Mount Clemens and Berkley have declared a “snow emergency” beginning at 7 p.m. until further notice. Huntington Woods has a snow emergency beginning at 5 a.m. Friday. A snow emergency means residents need to move their cars off city streets. If the cars are not moved, the car could be towed and/or the owner could be ticketed.
Craig Bryson, with the Road Commission for Oakland County said it could mean a long night for plow and salt trucks — but he’s most concerned about the morning rush.
“If it snows hard all night long, you know, despite the fact that we’ll be out with all of our trucks, it will probably be a messy commute in the morning. And our biggest obejective is to try to get the roads in as good as shape as possible proir to the rush hours,” Bryson said.
Bob Hoepfner with the Macomb County Department of Roads says his biggest concern is falling temperatures. “And snow, once it’s been melted, re-freezing and turning into ice … Other than that, four inches of snow is not a significant problem for us,” he said.
Both Bryson and Hoepfner say if it does snow as much as four inches, it could be days before they plow most subdivisions.
Madaus said this storm system, coming up from the south through Indiana and Ohio, is different from those we’ve seen so far this season. Such systems typically bring with them more moisture and that can mean, in some cases, much heavier snow.
Areas to the north and west of us could see up to a foot.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids says 6 to 12 inches of snow could accumulate north of Interstate 96 and 3 to 6 inches in some other parts of West Michigan starting Thursday and into Friday. Some spots could get more than a foot. In the northern Lower Peninsula, 6 to 10 inches could fall. Thursday afternoon, snow fell at a rate of about an inch an hour in the Holland area.
In and around the state’s rural Thumb area, the weather service says 6 to 11 inches is possible as the storm hits the region.
Meantime, a blizzard of potentially historic proportions is threatening to strike the East Coast.
American Airlines said that it was waiving its fee to change flights for people going through major airports in the Northeast, including Logan in Boston and LaGuardia and Kennedy in New York. Delta and United announced similar plans. Amtrak has also canceled some runs of its Down-easter train line, which runs from Brunswick, Maine, south to Boston. (More on the east coast storm at CBSNewYork.com).
Here’s the local forecast from the CBS Detroit weather team:
Thursday: Wintry mix possible in the evening; snow overnight. Up to 5 in. accumulation possible. Hi 34/23.
Friday: AM snow showers, then partly cloudy. Hi 34 / Lo 18.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Hi 38 / Lo 10.
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Hi 37 / Lo 34.
Check the CBS Detroit weather page for the extended forecast and up-to-the-minute information.
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