TRAVERSE CITY — Whiteout conditions and frigid temperatures will continue for at least one more day after a wintry blast closed schools across the Grand Traverse region and buried commuters.
"My advice would be, if you don't have to go out today, don't go out," said Jim Cook, Grand Traverse County Road Commission manager. "Everybody is out. We will be working overtime."
Cook's plow drivers worked to keep drifts from closing area roads since winds first started whipping through the region Sunday. Conditions aren't expected to improve in the near future, according to National Weather Service forecasts. The arctic air mass that rolled into northwest lower Michigan will plunge Traverse City into it's first sub-zero freeze of the year, said Tim Locker, a meteorologist for the Weather Service's Gaylord office.
"You're already at negative 9 for a wind chill," Locker said. "By tomorrow morning you could see close to negative 30."
Actual temperatures will cross the line into sub-zero ranges by late evening Monday and should reach minus 5 degrees by Tuesday morning.
"The temps instead of going up are going to decrease throughout the day," he said.
The weather service predicts only a few inches of new snow will fall throughout Monday into Tuesday, although heavy bands of lake-effect snow moved into areas east of Traverse City by mid-morning. Drifting and blowing snow are expected to continue until Wednesday.