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Metro Detroit weather: Tracking snow squall

Winter weather advisory issued for part of area

DETROIT – Monday's official snow measurement of 5.2 inches at Metro Airport broke the old daily record of 5.0 inches, which was set in 1891. So you can now tell your children and grandchildren that you lived through the biggest March 13 Detroit snowstorm on record.

Scattered snow showers -- some with brief, moderate bursts of snow reducing visibility to well under a mile -- will dot the area Tuesday afternoon.

Some of you undoubtedly have experienced this crazy weather in which it's sunny one moment, a blizzard minutes later and then more sun. The scattered "popcorn" snow showers should tend to diminish around sunset, but those of you in the eastern Thumb have a much different weather scenario. Intense lake-effect snow squalls should increase later Tuesday afternoon into the night, and these bands will bring moderate to heavy snow and near-whiteout conditions.

Use a lot of caution if your evening travel plans take you into the eastern Thumb. Any snow band that remains stationary for a few hours has the potential to drop a few inches of snow. How much snow falls will be dictated by how much the bands move, and that is controlled by the exact wind direction. Accordingly, the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for this area from 5 p.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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Once the wind shifts around to the northwest early Wednesday, these bands should reorient themselves and affect Ontario only, and not the Thumb. You can see this progression as the wind shifts on these snapshots (below) I grabbed from our in-house RPM model:

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For the rest of us, skies will be partly cloudy overnight, with lows dropping into the low teens (-11 degrees Celsius). But a 15 to 25 mph wind will drive wind chills down to near -5 degrees (-20 degrees Celsius).

Snow squalls in the Thumb early Wednesday should diminish rapidly, with mostly sunny skies prevailing across the area for the remainder of the day. Highs will be in the upper 20s (-2 degrees Celsius).  The stiff 15 to 25 mph wind will continue, though, and that’ll keep wind chills in the low to mid teens (-10 degrees Celsius) during the day.

It will be mostly clear Wednesday night, with lows near 20 degrees (-7 degrees Celsius).

Thursday will be mostly sunny and warmer, with highs in the upper 30s (3 to 4 degrees Celsius).

Clouds will increase after midnight Thursday night, with lows in the mid-20s (-4 degrees Celsius).

It will become cloudy with rain showers developing on St. Patrick’s Day. Highs will be in the low 40s (5 to 6 degrees Celsius).

Weekend forecast

Saturday will be breezy with scattered snow showers. Highs will be in the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius), but the wind will make it feel as if it’s in the low to mid-20s (-5 degrees Celsius).

It will become mostly sunny on Sunday, which will definitely be the better of the two weekend days, with highs in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius).


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