At 10:37 A.M. Monday, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the entire Detroit metropolitan area. The advisory, which will last until 1 A.M. Tuesday, replaced an earlier winter storm watch issued on Monday.
The storm, which the Weather Channel has dubbed Winter Storm Goliath, is moving from south to north across the region. It is bringing light snow at first, followed by up to an inch of sleet and then between one-tenth and one-quarter of an inch of freezing rain. The sleet and ice are predicted to arrive by 2 P.M and peak between 4 P.M and 10 P.M., just in time for the afternoon commute.
“We’re going to be dealing with frozen precipitation during rush hour commute,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Dave Kook told the Detroit Free Press. “Any untreated roads are going to be slick and we have to advise travelers to be cautious when out on roads.”
Driving is not the only form of transportation affected by the weather. The Detroit News reported almost 60 flights were canceled and more than 110 delayed at Detroit Metro Airport as of 8:00 A.M. today.
Much of the rest of the state is experiencing even worse weather, as a winter storm warning has been issued for areas north and west of Detroit. Up to a half-inch of ice could cover parts of the warning area in the Lower Peninsula, which stretches from Saginaw west through Lansing to Grand Rapids. A foot of snow is predicted to blanket parts of the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula.
Widespread power outages are expected to hit the warning area as ice, falling branches, and strong winds bring down power lines. Sporadic outages could affect Detroit and its suburbs.
The storm prompted Governor Rick Snyder into activating the state’s Emergency Operations Center, which coordinates response and recovery efforts by state agencies and local government. The center, which is run by the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the Michigan State Police, will remain in operation this week until its services are no longer required.
That was not the only action Snyder took. The Governor also closed all state offices in the Lower Peninsula at 1 P.M Monday.
“The safety of all Michiganders is our top priority, and the heavy snowfall and freezing rain could create hazardous conditions in much of our state,” Snyder said in a statement quoted by the Detroit News. “Residents should pay close attention to advisories and stay off the roads if at all possible. State authorities continue to closely monitor the situation and are sharing information and coordinating with communities to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
The temperatures will rise as the storm passes, with a high of 42 degrees early Tuesday morning, which will melt the ice. Temperatures will fall throughout the day resulting in light snow Tuesday afternoon. Very little accumulation is expected.