Arctic air blasts southeast Michig, but clouds part to offer glimpse of Geminid Meteor Shower

Geminid meteor shower in Nevada. Photo/Getty Images
Geminid meteor shower in Nevada. Photo/Getty Images

DETROIT – The severe Arctic air mass I’ve been talking about for a week-and-a-half now is finally arriving. 

This bitter plunge will come in two steps: Frethe first cold front this afternoon, and a reinforcing blast behind a second cold front tomorrow afternoon. Skies behind this afternoon’s front will temporarily clear out tonight, which will perhaps give us a peek at the annual Geminid Meteor Shower. This year’s show won’t be as spectacular since we have a full moon – its light washes out the fainter meteors. However, we should still be able to see the brighter ones … perhaps a few an hour. If you have clear skies any time after 9:00 or 10:00 PM this evening, it may be worth it to brave the cold for the chance to see a “shooting star!” Lows tonight will drop into the low teens (-11 to -12 degrees Celsius).  West-southwest wind at 5 to 10 mph will obviously make it feel colder.

Partly cloudy skies to start our Wednesday will become mostly cloudy as that second, more potent cold front crosses the area. Once that happens, that Arctic air will start screaming across Lake Michigan and generate some intense lake effect snow squalls, some of which may make it all the way across the state. If you will be traveling by car anywhere in the lower peninsula Wednesday afternoon or night, be aware that whiteout conditions can develop with very little warning. Highs will be in the upper teens (-7 degrees Celsius).  Southwest to west wind at 15 to 25 mph will keep the wind chill near 0 degrees (-18 degrees Celsius).

Wednesday’s sunrise is at 7:55 AM, and Wednesday’s sunset is at 5:02 PM.

Snow squalls gradually diminish Wednesday night, with lows around 8 degrees (-13 to -14 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy and continued cold on Thursday, with highs in the low teens (-10 to -11 degrees Celsius).  Wind chills around -5 degrees (-21 degrees Celsius).

Mostly clear Thursday night, with lows around 3 degrees (-17 degrees Celsius).

Increasing clouds on Friday, with highs in the upper teens (-8 degrees Celsius).

Snow develops Friday night, with several inches possible.  Lows in the mid teens (-9 degrees Celsius).

Saturday is where things are still tricky, but it does appear that warmer air is going to try and push up into our area ahead of the approaching storm system.  So, while details still need to be worked out, this could be a snow changing to freezing rain changing to rain situation.  Stay tuned…this will be an evolving forecast through the week as the computer models start giving me higher resolution data to work with.  Highs in the mid 30s (3 degrees Celsius).

Rain changes back to snow showers Saturday night as colder air wraps around the departing storm system.  Lows in the mid teens (-9 degrees Celsius) means that wet roads and sidewalks could become icy overnight.  Use a lot of caution if you’ll be out Saturday night.

Mostly cloudy and much colder once again on Sunday, with scattered snow showers.  Highs in the low 20s (-5 degrees Celsius).


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