A powerful winter stormed dubbed “Hercules” is expected to deliver more than a foot of snow, stiff winds and punishing cold temperatures to the Midwest this weekend including the state of Michigan. The massive storm system which is pushing its way across the US into the Northeast is expected to extend holiday break for many students. The best selling items in metro Detroit stores this week are snow shovels and milk as people prepare for the wicked winter weather that’s moving their way. Road crews have been plowing and salting metro Detroit area roadways at a fevered pitch over the past few days while gas stations are reporting doing very brisk business. The greater Detroit area has already received close to a foot of snow from earlier this week and are now bracing for another foot that could come down by Sunday night. Homeowners have been dealing with burst pipes, flooding and property damages caused by the extreme weather conditions.
The snowfall that is being forecast for this weekend will be followed by frigidly cold temperatures. The National Weather Service says that wind chills could reach 20 to 40 degrees below zero by early next week.
Detroit has gotten over 27 inches of snow thus far this winter, smashing its record by more than 15 inches and it’s only the beginning of the snowy season. The NWS says that up to 3 inches of snow may fall overnight Friday with up to 7 inches coming down Sunday during the day. On top of that, an additional four inches is possible Sunday night. While temperatures across the Detroit area topped out at around 28 degrees Friday, by Monday the highs will only be around 6 degrees making it uncomfortable and even dangerous to be outside.
Winter storm Hercules has already claimed 9 lives. It’s also resulted in numerous traffic tie-ups and accidents across Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois with some of those resulting in fatalities. Hercules also has closed down JFK airport in New York on Friday as well as Logan Airport in Boston. There were thousands of flight delays and cancellations across the United States due to snow, ice and wind. The NWS reported Friday night that Boxford, Mass has thus far received the most snow from Hercules with 2 feet on the ground there.
Roadways across the metro Detroit area were snow covered and slippery Friday, making it a slow and dangerous commute for many. Dozens of schools canceled classes Friday and scores of snow emergencies were declared in towns and cities across southern lower Michigan. AAA Michigan reported helping over 3,000 state residents on New Year’s Day alone. With the upcoming forecast of snowfall and blowing snow for the Great Lakes State, the agency is sure to be very busy over the next few days as Hercules unleashes its latest wrath of winter weather and dangerously cold temperatures.