Detroit-area snow updates: 'Prepare to hunker down for a few days'

February 01, 2022, 11:15 AM

Southeast Michigan forecast (Graphic: National Weather Service)

Working from home and school closings won't be because of the virus tomorrow and Thursday -- or not just for that reason.

Metro Detroit and five surrounding counties are under a winter storm watch from before dawn Wednesday through 11 p.m. Thursday. Snowfall accumulations are projected at 8-14 inches, with up to 16 inches possible in some unlucky places.

It could be the heaviest snowstorm locally since December 2016, when the official local total hit 10.7 inches.

"Schools will absolutely close through pretty much the entire area," Fox 2 meteorologist Derek Kevra says decisively. Indeed, Detroit's district announced Tuesday afternoon that it returns to virtual learning Wednesday through Friday. (Students had just returned Monday from a month oif remote education because of Covid.)

The National Weather Service regional storm watch, announced early Tuesday, cites "a significant threat to property or life" in eight counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Monroe, St. Clair, Livingston and Lapeer.

"As a cold front crosses the area and drops our temperatures, rain will change to snow overnight Tuesday," WDIV meteorologist Paul Gross posts this morning, "and the snow will become heavy Wednesday morning and continue into Wednesday evening."

It could become lighter at some point overnight Wednesday night before picking up again Thursday as the potential second wave moves in. ...

If you have the ability, I strongly urge you to make plans to work from home at least Wednesday and Thursday. If you have kids, there is the high probability for snow days Wednesday and Thursday, and probably Friday for some districts. ...

Be sure you’re prepared to hunker down for a few days, as it might not be until Friday or the weekend before some of your neighborhood streets are plowed.

Detroit's school district plans to resume a virtual-learning format because it has already used the six days dedicated for emergency shutdowns. Any snow closures would extend the school year to comply with a state mandate.

At Fox 2, Kevra looks past Thursday night:

Following the snow will come an extremely frigid blast of air. High temperatures to end the week won't get out of the teens and overnight lows Friday night will plummet to -1 with a windchill of -15 degrees.

(Graphic: Fox 2 News)

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