Metro Detroit weather: Arctic air, another possible storm ahead

Snow totals adding up from Sunday's record-breaking storm


DETROIT – What a storm! Officially for the calendar day on Sunday, Metro Airport -- our official climatological station -- recorded 10.6 inches of snow, which smashed the old record of 5.5 inches of snow set in 2000.

Everybody wants to know how much snow fell in their neighborhood Sunday after a big storm like this, so here’s a list of every snow total reported to the National Weather Service:


!function(e,t,n,s){var i="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName(t),d=o[0],a=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(s)&&(s=a+s),window[i]&&window[i].initialized)window[i].process&&window[i].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var r=e.createElement(t);r.async=1,r.id=n,r.src=s,d.parentNode.insertBefore(r,d)}}(document,"script","infogram-async","//e.infogr.am/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");

In addition to the above reports, I also received snow measurements from Steve Sobel in Farmington of 7.8 inches, Sue Drob in Manchester of 9.0 inches, and Martin Lulgjuraj of Rochester Hills of 10.0 inches. Now that the storm is past and the cleanup is well underway, it’s time to look ahead, and it’s going to be quite the wintry week.

Monday night will feature mostly cloudy skies, with a period in the middle of the night when skies become partly cloudy for a bit as west winds bringing in moisture off of Lake Michigan turn back to a drier southwest wind at 5 to 10 mph. Lows will be in the upper teens (that’s minus 7 degrees Celsius for our Canadian friends).

Expect a cloudy first half or two-thirds of the day on Tuesday, with a few brief snow showers possible as a cold front crosses the area midafternoon. But this is no ordinary cold front -- it’s an Arctic cold front, bringing an air mass that traveled all the way from Siberia to near the North Pole and then straight down into North America. Highs ahead of the front will be near 30 degrees (minus 1 degree Celsius), then fall sharply after that leading edge of the Arctic air passes by.  Clouds will quickly clear out behind the front, as well.

Tuesday’s sunrise is at 7:54 a.m., and Tuesday’s sunset is at 5:02 p.m.

If you don’t like standing out in bitter cold weather, I suggest filling your car with gas Monday night or Tuesday morning, so that’s one less thing you have to do outside when the wind chill drops below zero later this week.

It will be partly cloudy Tuesday night, with lows in the low teens (minus 11 degrees Celsius).

Wednesday will be mostly cloudy and windy, with snow showers possible as the Lake Michigan lake-effect snow machine opens for business. Be very cautious if driving on the eastern shore of any of the Great Lakes Wednesday and Thursday, as these snow bands will be very intense, with guaranteed whiteout conditions in them.

Highs Wednesday will be in the upper teens (minus 7 degrees Celsius), although wind chills will be around 0 degrees (minus 18 degrees Celsius). Note to my Canadian friends: my 0 degrees sounds a whole lot better than your minus 18 degrees!

It will be partly cloudy with scattered snow showers and lows around 6 degrees (minus 14 to minus 15 degrees Celsius).

Thursday will be partly cloudy, windy and continued bitterly cold, with highs in the mid-teens (minus 9 degrees Celsius), with wind chills between 0 and minus 10 degrees (minus 18 to minus 24 degrees Celsius).

It will be mostly clear Thursday night, with lows around 2 degrees (minus 17 degrees Celsius).

There will be increasing clouds on Friday, with highs near 20 degrees (minus 11 degrees Celsius).

Snow will develop Friday evening, with temperatures actually steady for a while, before rising into the low to mid-20s by Saturday morning (minus 10 degrees Celsius).

There are very important disagreements with regard to this coming Saturday’s storm system. This tale reads just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One model gives us all snow, another gives us a mix, while another models gives us mostly rain. It’s just not possible to choose between one of them at this point (and no, I can’t just assume that the middle model is the compromise, or "just right" mode -- it just doesn’t work that way this time).

All I can tell you is to ignore those other forecasts some of you have been tweeting me about. Minute details this far in advance with a storm like this are impossible to discern. Please be patient and I will let you know the moment I get a handle on things. Highs should reach the mid-30s (1-2 degrees Celsius).

Behind the Saturday system, Sunday will be mostly cloudy, breezy and cold, with highs back down into the low 20s (minus 10 to minus 11 degrees Celsius).

Climate Change webcast has been rescheduled

Last week’s climate change webcast, which had to be postponed due to serious technical problems that developed literally as I was beginning the webcast, has been rescheduled to this Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

You can watch the live, unscripted update with the latest scientific facts (and no politics) on ClickOnDetroit.com. I hope to see you then.

Sign up for ClickOnDetroit Email Newsletters (click here) for more stories like this.

About the Author: