Not an April Fools' joke: snow is in our weekend forecast

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DETROIT – Get ready for a fairly active weather pattern into next week which, combined with the colder temperatures moving in, brings us a few mentions of snowflakes in my forecast.

And this is NOT an April Fool’s joke…I don’t joke about the weather.

Our next weather system is actually a weak one, and will cross our area in the form of a cold front tonight.  There isn’t much moisture with this front, so I only expect a narrow band of light rain showers (possibly mixed with snow showers north of I-69) roughly between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM.  Lows in the mid 30s (1° Celsius for our Canadian friends).  Southwest wind at 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday will start with partly cloudy skies. Clouds will increase by early afternoon as a compact, but very potent, upper level system swings across the Lower Peninsula. Rain and snow showers will break out across the southern part of our area, with precipitation falling as mostly snow the farther north you are.  As the upper air system passes by, colder temperatures will transition what’s falling to all snow. There’s been a lot of banter around town about accumulation. First of all, I want to remind you about three things: 

1)  The air temperature will be above freezing - probably around 40° / 5° Celsius.
2)  The snow will be falling during the daytime in early April (the stronger spring solar radiation through the clouds actually makes a difference).
3)  The ground is above freezing. 

Most of this snow should melt when it hits pavement…the only way we’ll get some slush on the roads is if it comes down so heavy that it accumulates before completely melting.  However, the snow may accumulate an inch or so (especially to the far north) on grassy and elevated surfaces, such as outdoor tables, cars, etc..  It will also become very windy by late afternoon and early evening, with wind gusts to 40 mph certainly attainable.  I am showing you below four images from my RPM computer model, which seems to have a pretty good handle on things…this should help you plan your day Saturday.

This storm coming through Saturday will have a nice, tight swirl to it, and will be fun to watch on the FREE Local4Casters app’s radar.  If you don’t have the app yet, just search under WDIV in the app store. 

Also remember to post your photos (and video) of the snow and wind onto Storm Pins.  Not only do you help us out here at Local 4, and not only do you help out the National Weather Service…which monitors Storm Pins…but you also can see everybody else’s photos and videos.  Storm Pins is free by searching in the same place as our weather app in the app store. 

Finally, follow me (@PGLocal4) and the @Local4Casters on Twitter for updates during the weekend.

Saturday’s sunrise is at 7:13 AM, and Saturday’s sunset is at 8:01 PM.

Snow will end by mid-evening Saturday, and skies should gradually clear during the night.  Lows in the mid 20s (-4° Celsius).  One thing to watch out for late Saturday night or first thing Sunday morning is the potential for icy patches from any wet pavement that manages to freeze before the water evaporates.

Sunday has now become a much more intriguing day than I anticipated yesterday. We’ll start off with mostly sunny skies, then clouds will increase and we actually have the chance for more snow developing by mid to late afternoon. Highs in the low 40s (5° Celsius). New computer guidance that came in mid-afternoon now suggests that the Sunday night storm system is going to take a more favorable snow track – a path that would put us in the bullseye for a more substantial accumulating snow. The fact that the snow will fall at night and in colder temperatures than the Saturday system gives us a better chance of seeing this snow become impactful.  It’s very difficult this far out and with the storm so far away to get specific with accumulations, but amounts in excess of two inches should be easily achievable, depending upon the exact track, of course. Stay tuned (I’ll tweet updates during the weekend).

Any lingering snow showers first thing Monday morning will end, and skies should eventually become partly sunny.  Highs only near 40° (5° Celsius), and it’ll be a windy day.

The rest of the week looks to have chilly temperatures, except for Wednesday when we may hit the mid 50s (12° Celsius) in advance of another storm system crossing the country.

My long range outlook for Detroit Tigers Opening Day on Friday is for a dry day, but a breezy and cold day, with highs only in the mid 40s (6° Celsius).  Play ball!  Go Tigers!



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