DETROIT (WWJ) – Metro Detroiters should expect brutally cold weather, right into next week.
With temperatures plummeting below zero overnight, a Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for Southeast Michigan, currently in effect until 10 a.m. Friday.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Bowers said low temperatures in Metro Detroit dropped between -5 and -15 degrees Thursday night into early Friday. It feels much, much colder than that though, due blustery winds creating wind chill values of -17 to -23 degrees.
The advisory covers Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.
“So, wind or no wind, the kids will be starting the day (Friday) with the actual air temperature at zero or lower — and it only gets to around 15 in the afternoon, despite the sun coming out,” Bowers said.
“But this all pales in comparison to the air mass that comes in on Monday; this is really going to be brutally cold … windy, with the high temperature only 5 degrees,” he said, adding the wind chill will make it feel like 15 to 30 below.
After hundreds of local schools were closed on Thursday, many districts were expected to shut down on Friday due to the cold.
[CHECK THE SCHOOL CLOSINGS LIST]
The National Weather Service warns that the subzero temps could result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken. If you must venture outdoors, officials say to make sure you wear a hat and gloves.
The colder air blows in just after much of the metro area was blanketed by several inches of snow. AccuWeather said there’s about seven inches of snow in Monroe, six inches near Metro Airport and around Downriver, five inches of snow was reported in the Ann Arbor area, and four inches in Milford.
AAA Michigan has serviced over 3,1000 motorists on Thursday, mostly because of dead batteries or spin-out accidents on the roads. Spokesperson, Nancy Cain who said they’ve also had a number of service calls from motorists who ran out of gas.
“With temperatures heading into the zero range, we know we’re going to get more calls for dead batteries/can’t starts,” she said.
Meantime, the city of Detroit is activating its residential street clearing plan, which calls for snow removal on residential streets.
Thursday afternoon, contracted snow removal crews began plowing the city’s 1880 miles of residential side streets. Residents were asked to move their vehicles off the roads to allow plow trucks to move through. Contractors were given 24-hours to clear the snow.
Snow emergencies were declared in the following communities: Berkley, Dearborn, Canton, Flat Rock, Woodhaven, Brownstown Township, Livonia, Oak Park, Royal Oak, Garden City, Eastpointe, Westland, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Troy, Roseville, Redford Township, Sterling Heights, Warren and Beverly Hills.
Local snow plow driver Brian Webster, of Clarkston, describes trying to clear the roads “like chasing your tail.”
Clarkston told WWJ he’s been doing what he can to stay alert.
“Ah, just a couple Gatorades and a cup of coffee here and there,” he said, Thursday afternoon, having been on the job since 11 p.m. Wednesday. “I’ve done this lot probably six times.”
Michigan State Police are keeping very busy with accidents and calls for service with the snow storm. Lieutenant Mike Shaw says they’ve handled about 200 accidents and more than 400 calls for help. He said you should slow down in these conditions — but can you drive too slow?
“Unfortunately, a lot of times, it’s not the person that’s driving slower,” said Shaw. “it’s the one that’s driving too fast that goes around the person , in,in the right lane that ends up losing control & putting in a ditch.”
Shaw says that if you see a trooper or a tow truck on the side of the road, move over a lane to give them space to get by.
Here’s the local forecast from the CBS Detroit weather team:
Friday: Brisk and bitterly cold with intervals of clouds and sunshine. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. High around 13F.
Friday Night :Windy and cold with patchy clouds. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Low near 3F.
Saturday: A mix of clouds and sun early, then becoming cloudy later in the day. Breezy. Winds SSW at 20 to 30 mph. High 32F.
Saturday Night: Some snow showers early and a steadier snow developing late at night. Accumulation less than 1 inch. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Low 27F.
Sunday: Periods of snow. High near 30F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 60%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.
Sunday Night: Cloudy with snow. Low around 5F. Winds NNW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 60%. Snow accumulating 3 to 5 inches.
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