(WXYZ) - You didn't expect this winter to go quietly, did you?
While the snow Wednesday will seem especially rude right after two spring-like days, it is not that unusual. Five of our top 20 biggest snowstorms in Detroit have ended in March. And this one won't even make it into the top 20 biggest snowstorms, which requires just over 11 inches. But it could be close.
Will schools close?
I think a lot of them will, in part because so much of the storm will hit during the normal school day, and the roads will be a mess at both the start and end of the normal school day.
Some days this winter have been a slam dunk to call school closings. This isn't one of them. It's close to 50/50, with a slightly higher chance of closing south of Detroit where snow will be heavier. This should be a close call, and local issues and calendars will come into play. For example, Monroe has made it clear they will have trouble clearing their roads. That district has a better chance of being closed.
What can we expect?
As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, (see latest metro Detroit forecast here ) the main energy of the storm is just coming out of the Rockies, so the computer models haven't settled on a consistent track and amount of moisture for us. But it looks like wet snow will start after 2 a.m.
As temperatures fall and winds pick up later in the morning, the snow will get heavier. The heaviest time period for snow will likely be between about 7 a.m. and noon, when the snow could pile up at about 1" per hour. That is too fast for crews to keep up with, especially when you add in the blowing and drifting of snow on winds gusts over 30 mph.
The snow should end from NW to SE in the early afternoon. By that time most of us will have 5"-9", maybe a little more south of Detroit, of new snow to
A. deal with
B. curse wildly
C. or play in
depending on our attitude. If you choose option C, pull out all the winter layers you may have put aside briefly. By sunset Wednesday, the snow will be gone but the north wind will by gusting, temps will be down into the teens, and wind chill readings will be near 0. The actual temperature will fall to the low single digits Thursday morning, likely breaking a record low that goes back to 1896.