Metro Detroit weather forecast: Quick-moving cold front to bring snow showers

DETROIT – Winter puts an exclamation point on our forecast in the next 24 hours. Temperatures dip, winds crank and it will feel near zero in spots. But we've got an even bigger potential headache for the weekend.

Snow Appetizer

A quick-moving cold front will bring a few snow showers this evening. It won't last long, and won't amount to much. We're expecting less than an inch in places that see that see the more productive snow showers. That's obviously not a lot, but it may be enough to slicken streets for Wednesday morning's drive. And this is just a taste of what's to come this weekend.

Windy Wednesday

Wind speeds will generally hang out around 15-20 mph through Wednesday. That’s what will put wind chills in single digits for Wednesday morning. Gusts will reach 35 mph in the afternoon. So it will feel just as cold in the afternoon as it will walking out the door in the morning. Winds will relax for Thursday, just as temperatures start to climb again.

Wintry Weekend

We've been monitoring our weekend system, which has been changing in the models. The one consistent feature is how wet this thing will be. Look at just the liquid totals for Friday through Sunday morning.

Liquid forecast Jan. 7, 2020.
Liquid forecast Jan. 7, 2020. (WDIV)

We’re fairly confident this will be a prolonged event, but what *kind* of event will it be? All rain or some mix of rain and snow? That question may be irrelevant when it comes to impacts and here’s why. Temperatures will eventually go below freezing by the end of the event. Even if we see mostly rain, then a quick freeze, we’ll be dealing with a load of icy streets. If the temperatures cool quicker, there will still be coating of ice below any accumulating snow.

Bottom line: Plan for a headache this weekend, and be pleasantly surprised if this system misses us altogether.

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