DETROIT – It’s remarkable what a strong Arctic cold front can do.
At 1:30 a.m. — when I left home for work — the temperature was in the 30s (0 to 1 degree Celsius). Now, at midday, that temp has crashed into the teens (-8 degrees Celsius) in most areas and, when you factor in that wind gusting between 25 and 35 mph, wind chills across the area are around zero (-18 degrees Celsius).
As expected, lake effect snow showers have expanded across the state and are affecting mainly the northern half of the area.
While the National Weather Service allowed the Winter Weather Advisory to expire on time for Monroe and Lenawee Counties, it has been extended until 7 p.m. for the rest of our counties. And the Flood Warning for the St. Clair River continues until 12 p.m. as ice blockages continue to cause significant flooding in some areas.
Winds will gust to between 25 and 40 mph this afternoon, and those gusts won’t subside below 30 mph until this evening. It will remain breezy through the weekend, but not as windy as today.
Temperatures will not rise today due to the Arctic air streaming in. We’ll remain in the teens (-8 degrees Celsius) this afternoon.
Wind chills will drop to near zero (-18 degrees Celsius) this afternoon, and this will be the start of a stretch of bitterly cold days.
Today’s strong wind blowing across the mostly open waters of Lake Michigan have generated some intense lake effect snow bands on the western side of the state which, as I mentioned above, have extended eastward into the northern half of our area. Those snow bands should begin diminishing tonight.
If you are elderly or have any healthy problems, I STRONGLY advise not trying to shovel this snow. Either call a snow service to do this for you, or perhaps give the kid down the block $20 to do it for you — it’ll be money well spent — and this message is very personal to me as a childhood friend’s father died of a heart attack trying to shovel a heavy, wet snow that he didn’t need to shovel.
Snow showers diminish Friday night, and it’ll be very cold, with lows in the low teens (-11 degrees Celsius).
Mostly cloudy and breezy on Saturday, with highs in the upper teens (-7 degrees Celsius), with wind chills between zero and 5 above zero (-15 to -18 degrees Celsius).
An area of snow will cross the area Saturday night into first thing Sunday morning. The computer models don’t entirely agree on its placement, but new models just in suggest accumulation for most of us. It’s a little early to get specific, but as a general outlook, it appears that this will be a one-to-three inch snow, with the best chance to get three inches being south of I-94, most of us (the central part of the area) getting two-to-three inches, and areas to the far north a little over an inch.
Lows Saturday night around 10 degrees (-12 degrees Celsius). Highs Sunday in the mid teens (-8 degrees Celsius), with wind chills during the day on Sunday around zero (-18 degrees Celsius).
Best chance to see any more accumulating snow is Monday night into Tuesday morning (this could be another couple of inches — stay tuned). We’ll get briefly and slightly warmer early in the week as highs return to the low 20s (-6 degrees Celsius), but a resurgence of the Arctic air appears poised to return Wednesday and beyond.
All-in-all, plan on a very, very cold week ahead.