Frost Advisory issued for part of southeast Michigan

Michigan's cherry crop in danger

After a muggy weekend, the late spring cool down continues for metro Detroit.
After a muggy weekend, the late spring cool down continues for metro Detroit.

As I mentioned yesterday, a very cold air mass flowing overhead, combined with clearing skies and lighter wind tonight will promote very efficient cooling. The National Weather Service has issued a Frost Advisory for the I-69 corridor and northward, as this is where the best chance is for temperatures to reach or drop slightly below 32°.

Our Urban Heat Island (areas relatively close to Detroit) should remain above freezing. However, those of you in the more remote suburbs – even if not in the Frost Advisory area – are still at some risk. The bottom line is that if you have tender plants that you don't want to risk losing, you'll need to cover them (or move them into the garage if they are portable, such as hanging baskets).

Use burlap or an old sheet…prop it up on stakes above BUT NOT TOUCHING the plants. What this does is reflect heat radiating up from the ground back down, which prevents frost when temperatures are close to freezing. This does not work in temps well below freezing, but we won't drop that far tonight. And by the way, early season perennials (such as tulips) and hardy flowers (such as pansies) can handle this cold…no need to worry about them.

Farther north in the lower peninsula, a Freeze Warning has been issued, and this has me even more concerned. The cherry blossoms are out up north, and a freeze tonight could decimate our tart cherry crop.

I distinctly remember this happening back in 2002, as well as in 2012. In both years, we had early spring warmth followed by a hard freeze and, in 2012, we lost 90% of our state's tart cherries. And by the way, these early spring big warm-ups are becoming more common due to our warming climate.

While we all rejoice in the early warmth, keep in mind that this changes our flowering plants' and trees' internal clocks…they start flowering earlier, and once those blossoms are out, they are very susceptible to a killing frost. If we lose our cherry crop again this year, it would be the third time in thirteen years…not good.

Wednesday should start with some sunshine, but clouds will rapidly increase during the afternoon. Highs near 60° (15° Celsius for you Canadians). Light northwest wind. Wednesday's sunrise is at 6:08 AM, and Wednesday's sunset is at 8:52 PM.

Mostly cloudy Wednesday night, with lows in the low 40s.

Becoming mostly sunny on Thursday, with highs in the mid to upper 60s. Don't forget that this Thursday is our second Weather Radio Campaign Day of 2015. Brandon Roux and Ben Bailey will be broadcasting live from the Meijer store in Woodhaven on Live in the D, at Noon, 4, 5, and 6pm. Remember that weather radios are "smoke detectors for weather": they sit silently, and only sound an alarm for the county or counties you care about when the warnings you want to know about are issued.

The radios are available at a significantly discounted Local 4 price…$29.99…which is $10 off the regular price. Plus, if you come to the Meijer store, the people there will program the radio for you (you can do it yourself, but they'll save you the trouble). It's our goal to get these weather radios into as many homes, schools, and businesses as possible and, since we began this program three years ago, over 40,000 radios have been purchased!

Remember that the radios can be used anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. You just have to program it for where you'll be, so take it with you! Or, you can do as a lot of people I met on our last campaign day do: buy one for yourself, and buy others as birthday or Father's Day gifts. One woman I met bought her radio the previous year, and she was back to buy one for her cottage up north, and another three for her children's homes.

Mostly clear Thursday night, with lows in the mid 40s.

Mostly sunny on Friday, with highs in the mid 60s..

Mostly clear Friday night, with lows in the low 40s.

Mostly sunny on Saturday…a great start to the holiday weekend…with highs near 70°.

Partly cloudy Saturday night, with lows in the mid 50s.

Becoming mostly cloudy on Sunday with a chance of showers but, based upon today's computer models, my gut feeling from yesterday still stands: the rain may hold off until mid to late afternoon. With a bit of luck, perhaps we can salvage most of the daylight hours…but keep an eye on the Local4Casters app's radar if you have any outdoor plans. Also remember to follow me on Twitter (@PGLocal4), as I tweet weather updates. Those of you who already follow me got a lot of "weather help" from me last weekend. Highs Sunday in the low 70s.

There's a chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday night, with lows in the upper 50s.

Memorial Day is still very tricky, and our rain chances is highly dependent upon the timing of a warm front. There should be some showers and thunderstorms ahead of the front, then drier weather behind the front (although the humidity comes back). It's just a matter of when the front comes through and, as long as it does, highs should reach the mid 70s (maybe warmer if the front comes through very early in the day).

I cannot get more specific right now, so stay tuned…I'll keep a close eye on this for you, and for me: I'm the co-emcee of the Farmington Memorial Day Parade on Grand River in downtown Farmington.

The parade starts at 10am (I'm in the first car), and it would be great to see you there helping to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Yes, it's a day off work. But it's also something much more important than that so, before you hoist that burger, take a moment to remember and give personal thanks to our young men and women who never came home.

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