Update: Severe weather potential today in metro Detroit

Risk continues through the afternoon


DETROIT – Here's the latest on our severe weather threat this afternoon.

Sunshine has boosted temperatures well into the 80s and, with dewpoints near 70° (meaning that there is a lot of moisture in the air), we have plenty of low-level instability to begin updrafts that lead to the development of thunderstorms. However, temperatures ALOFT (10-20,000 feet) are a bit warmer than they should be to sustain violent updrafts higher into the atmosphere (and, consequently, large hail). Finally, winds aloft are unidirectional (meaning not much change in direction), so this significantly diminishes the tornado threat.

What this all means is that, while severe storms are still possible this afternoon into the evening, there is by no means a guarantee that you will get one. IF some robust storms are able to develop (and some of you may not get anything at all), the primary threat will be damaging straight-line wind gusts, a lot of lightning, and torrential downpours. I think there is a significantly lower risk for anything more than that.

Once these storms move through, we'll get a break for a while tonight, before rain and some non-severe storms return to the area later tonight. I think most of the rain should be gone by rush hour, but it's possible that some of you east of I-75 may see the rain end during or a little after rush hour. Lows tonight in the mid 60s (17° Celsius for you Canadians) with a southwest wind at 10 to 20 mph.

Thursday forecast:

Skies then gradually become partly cloudy on Thursday, with only the slight chance for a brief, very light shower during the afternoon (the best chance, and it's still a small one, is north of M-59). Highs in the mid 70s (24° Celsius). Southwest wind at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday's sunrise is at 6:46 AM, and Thursday's sunset is at 8:27 PM.

The rest of the forecast is pretty simple. As I mentioned yesterday, with the exception of a few showers associated with a cold front overnight Sunday night, I think we'll be mainly dry through the end of next week. Temperatures should remain pleasant -- 70s on the cooler days, and low 80s on the warmer days. Overnight lows mostly in the 50s, with a few low 60s thrown in.

After today I'll be on vacation through the middle of next week, but staying right here at home. While I don't expect any crazy weather during this time, I'll keep an eye on things and, if it looks as if things are going to get out of hand, I'll send updates on Twitter (@PGLocal4). If you don't already follow me on Twitter, you may want to do so right now, as I'll be tweeting frequent updates through this afternoon and keep you abreast of our severe weather threat.

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