DETROIT (WWJ)/AP – Snow is falling fast across southern Michigan Wednesday morning, leaving roads slippery and more than 700 school closures.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire region, in effect until 3 p.m. The snowfall will be heavy at times throughout the morning, accumulating 4-8 inches before tapering off during the afternoon.
The snowstorm has caused more than 700 schools in southeast Michigan to cancel classes on Wednesday. All Public Schools in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Monroe, Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw and St. Clair counties are closed.
Several cities have also issued snow emergencies, including Auburn Hills, Berkley, Beverly Hills, Detroit, Garden City, Hazel Park, Lincoln Park, Livonia, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Royal Oak, South Lyon, Southgate, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Trenton, Warren and Woodhaven.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore said metro Detroit will see the worst of the storm during the busiest time of the day.
“The heaviest snow is going to be coming down right at the teeth of the morning commute, and we’re still looking at four to eight inches before it tapers off as we get into the afternoon,” he said.
The snow is expected to fall coming at a rate of about 1 to 2 inches per hour, leaving road surfaces slick and slippery. Several spinouts and fender benders have been reported on area freeways from the east to west side.
Devonte Jennings was driving along I-696 near I-275 when he was hit by another car spinning out of control.
“I was going about 30 mph and the other car slid out, because you can’t go fast out here nowhere, so the car slid and ‘Boom!’ It hit the passenger front door and I slid all the way over to the shoulder,” he said.
Alex Gill was driving westbound down I-696 near Mound Road when his car suddenly started to lose traction on the road.
“I don’t know, I was just in the left lane and started fishtailing and shot across all four lanes into the ditch over here. I was the last in line so I got pretty lucky there, I didn’t hit anyone,” he said.
The heaviest snowfall will hit the state’s southeastern corner just north of Toledo, Ohio, with 6 to 9 inches expected in the Monroe area by Wednesday afternoon. The metro Detroit area is expected to get 5 to 8 inches.
Phil Kurimski, Senior Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in White Lake, said after the snow is done falling, temperatures will take a plunge.
“Behind this system, it’s actually going to get quite cold, down to around zero degrees on Wednesday night. So that snow, if it’s not removed, will act like cement.”
Kurimski said the storm will likely move the Detroit area close to the seasonal snow record of 93.6 inches set in 1880-1881. Before the storm, Detroit Metropolitan Airport had seen 84.1 inches.
Here’s the local forecast from the CBS Detroit weather team:
Wednesday: Heavy snow this morning will end as some light snow this afternoon. Windy and much colder; storm total snowfall 4-8 inches. Morning high of 30F with temps falling to near 15F.
Wednesday Night: Some passing clouds and very cold with the temperature breaking the record of 5 set in 1896. Low 1F.
Thursday: Partly sunny and quite cold. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph. High 22F.
Thursday Night: Brisk and cold with patchy clouds. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Low 15F.
Friday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine. Chance of a shower, breezy and not as cold. High 43F.
Friday Night: Clear to partly cloudy. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Low 27F.
Saturday: Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. High 43F.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy skies, colder. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Low 19F.
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