Detroit just 3 inches shy of 134-year-old snow record

Could more snow next week push city past record set in 1880-81?

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - Wednesday's snow dropped the expected 5 to 8 inches of snow across our area.

There were a few isolated spots that got a little more, but the overall average across Metro Detroit was in the 5 to 8-inch range.

Most importantly -- for those of you who are closely following these record -- is that we got an official total of 6.5 inches at Detroit Metro Airport. That set a new March 12 daily snowfall record -- the old record of 2.4 inches was set in 1984. AND, this now gives us 90.6 inches total for the season, only 3.0 inches shy of the 134-year-old record of 93.6 inches set in 1880-81. Could we break the record next week? I'll discuss that question below.

Expect mostly clear skies tonight, with diminishing wind. The combination of clearing skies, light wind toward dawn, and fresh snow cover means excellent radiational cooling -- so temperatures will crash. Lows around 0, with sub-zero readings attainable in the typically colder rural areas. The old record low on March 13 is 5, so it looks like we'll set yet another record low Thursday morning.

Mostly sunny on Thursday, with partly cloudy skies developing by mid to late afternoon. Highs near 20. Thursday night will be dry, with near-steady temps around 20.

Partly cloudy and windy on Friday, with highs roaring back into the low 40s! Our temperature roller coaster continues through the weekend under partly cloudy skies, with highs on Saturday in the mid 30s, and highs on Sunday and Monday back down into the mid 20s.

More snow next week?

Then we have some VERY interesting weather pattern developments to watch for the Tuesday/Wednesday timeframe. Some of the computer models develop a storm and take it northwest of us, which puts us on the warm side of the system and gives us a chance of rain.

However, the ECMWF model paints a different picture -- a system that takes a similar track to the one that gave us Wednesday's snow. Normally, I wouldn't put much stake in a single computer model indicating one thing, while most of the others say something else. But the ECMWF has a pretty good track record with long range patterns, so I cannot ignore it. IF this model has the correct solution to the forecast problem, then this could be the snow that pushes us over the top for snowiest season on record.

But do NOT start going around and telling people that another snow storm is coming, because I'm not saying that. I have no idea how the details of next week's jet stream configuration will pan out -- I'm just sharing some "inside baseball" with you.

Naturally, I'll keep you updated as I see a consensus develop in the computer models.

I sometimes post quick updates on Twitter when I don't have time to write a formal article like this -- you can follow me at @PaulGrossLocal4.

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