Metro Detroit Weather: Cooler Saturday, with possible pop-ups

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - Last night’s cold front has ushered in a cooler air mass, but that’s not the entire story: Colder air aloft is also moving in, which will destabilize our atmosphere this afternoon and produce scattered showers.  Not everybody will see one, but all of us are at risk for a couple of brief splash-and-dash showers.  Periodically check the radar on our free app this afternoon if you have outdoor plans! Highs will top out in the mid-70s (24 degrees Celsius). West to northwest wind at 7 to 12 mph.

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Today’s sunrise is at 6:38 a.m., and today’s sunset is at 8:38 p.m.

Becoming mostly clear tonight, so we should be able to see the Perseid Meteor Shower (details below).  Lows in the mid to upper 50s (13-15 degrees Celsius), and there could be some patchy fog late at night.

Mostly sunny on Sunday – a beautiful August weekend day -- with highs in the upper 70s to near 80 degrees (26-27 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy Sunday night, with lows in the mid to upper 50s (14-15 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Monday, with highs near 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs in the mid-80s (29-30 degrees Celsius), and overnight lows in the low 60s (16-17 degrees Celsius).

Our next chance for rain, and most of us need some, is next Thursday and Friday.

Perseid Meteor Shower details

This weekend is the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, which is one of the year’s most popular since it occurs during the summer. However, we have a couple of things working against us this year. First, the meteor shower’s peak occurs during the day today, which obviously favors the other side of the world since it’ll be during their nighttime. Second, we’ll have a bright moon in the sky during the time to watch, so moonlight will wash out the fainter meteors. However, we definitely will be able to see any bright Perseids that occur.

So, when to look? Tonight between midnight and dawn. Why so late at night? That’s because the radiant, which is the point in the sky where the meteors originate from, rises in the northeast around midnight. Can you see anything before midnight?  It’s possible to see one or two, but the best chances occur well after midnight.  Just face northeast and look halfway up. Don’t focus on any particular star…keep a broad visual perspective.

The most astounding thing about these meteors is that they are a piece of rock about the size of a Grape Nuts cereal nugget hitting our atmosphere at over 133,000 miles per hour and burning up due to friction! Once a year, the earth passes through a trail of “nugget debris” left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, and the result is the famous Perseid Meteor Shower. There are other comet debris trails throughout the year that give us other meteor showers, such as the Leonids in November. The best conditions are no clouds and a dark sky.  So, no moonlight and a viewing location away from the light pollution created by our big cities gives you the best opportunity to see some…but we’ll have that moonlight this year.

And by the way, there’s a rumor going around the Internet that this year’s Perseids will be the best in ninety-six years.  That is emphatically not true. Yes, it’s fake space news…

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