Michigan's deep freeze eases, but roads still bad - WNEM TV 5

Michigan's deep freeze eases, but roads still bad

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An arctic blast has eased its grip on Michigan with temperatures rising as much as 33 degrees from the double-digit sub-zero levels of recent days.

The National Weather Service says Wednesday's temperatures shot to 19 degrees at Detroit, Lambertville, Muskegon, South Haven and Troy.

Three Rivers in southwestern Michigan saw temperatures rise from minus 15 early in the day to 18 above by afternoon.

Copper Harbor in the Upper Peninsula is the state's hot spot Wednesday at 24 degrees.

Authorities are blaming the heavy snow and subsequent deep freeze for at least eight deaths, five involving snow clearance and three in crashes.

Hundreds of schools remain closed around southern Michigan, and some say they'll stay shut Thursday as well.

Here at home, TV5 Chief meteorologist Doug Moats says temperatures dipped into the sub-zero category again overnight, falling to seven below zero. Winds are out of the WSW at 5-10 MPH.   Some sunshine will be overhead on Thursday.  Afternoon highs will be slightly warmer, topping out in the low 20s. 

A Wintry Mix of rain/snow will develop on Friday and turn to all rain on Saturday.  Highs on Saturday will be in the low 40s.

Consumers Energy reports record demand for natural gas by its Michigan customers during this week's deep freeze.

The unit of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says it set a new hourly record for natural gas delivery on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., delivering 146,367 million cubic feet of natural gas to homes and businesses. That broke its previous record of 146,013 million set from 8 to 9 a.m. on Feb. 3, 1996.

The utility also came close to its 24-hour record for natural gas delivery from 8 p.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Homes and businesses used 3.14 billion cubic feet of gas, missing of the record 3.18 billion used from 5 p.m. Jan. 18, 1994, to 5 p.m. Jan. 19, 1994.

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