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Metro Detroit weather forecast: Trending milder

But watching a wintry mix for Friday

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Things have finally quieted down, weatherwise, with sunshine gracing the area this afternoon.  That sun, however, was purely cosmetic, as wind chills hung in the mid teens (-9 degrees Celsius).  Skies will become partly cloudy for a while tonight, then trend mostly clear toward sunrise, with lows in the mid teens (-9 degrees Celsius).  Northwest to west wind should settle down to 8 to 13 mph. 

Mostly sunny and noticeably warmer on Thursday, with highs in the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius).  West-southwest wind at 10 to 15 mph.  Thursday’s sunrise is at 7:43 a.m., and Thursday’s sunset is at 7:41 p.m.  Notice that we’re nearly at the point of exactly twelve hours of daylight, and twelve hours of night – that’s to be expected with the vernal equinox (start of astronomical spring) coming this Monday.

Increasing clouds Thursday night, with lows in the mid 20s (-4 degrees Celsius).

Friday now looks a bit trickier due to the earlier arrival of some approaching moisture than I expected the past couple of days.  We’ll probably see a period of snow in the morning (probably not until after rush hour, but it’ll be close).  Some models even suggest some minor accumulation…an inch or less…before we transition to freezing rain, and then rain.  Highs near 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius).

Rain showers are likely Friday night, with lows in the low to mid 30s (1 degree Celsius).

Breezy and colder on Saturday, with scattered snow showers.  Highs in the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius).

Becoming partly cloudy Saturday night, with lows in the upper 20s (-2 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny on Sunday…a nice late winter / early spring day…with highs in the mid 40s (7 degrees Celsius).

Rain showers are likely on Monday, with highs in the mid 40s (7 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy and breezy on Tuesday, with highs in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny on Wednesday, with highs in the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius).

A word about yesterday’s east coast storm

I want to briefly comment on some negative press being thrown around as to the forecast for yesterday’s humongous east coast storm.  Because some of the main cities (New York, for example) didn’t get Biblical snow, some people are calling the forecast and warnings about this storm a complete bust.  This cannot be farther from the truth.  This storm became a monster, as forecast.  This storm dumped unimaginable amounts of snow, as forecast.  This storm caused significant power outages, and disruption to transportation, as forecast.  The only difference between the forecast and what actually happened is that the rain/snow line shifted ever so slightly to the west, so places like New York City “only” got 7.6” instead of 10-20” because they had a substantial period of sleet.  Remember that Mother Nature has a single bucket of moisture to drop as rain, sleet or snow from any particular storm or front that passes by, and if some of that falls as sleet, then that takes some of the moisture away from what would have produced snow.  New York City didn’t get rain.  The transition zone between the snow and rain just meandered a bit west and they got a heavy layer of sleet, which weighed down the snow that had already fallen, and the resulting measurement was “only” 7.6”.  But just a bit farther west, oh did it snow.  I saw one report of eleven inches of snow in just two hours in the city of Ohio, New York.  I want you to think about that for a moment.  You can’t even imagine snow falling that heavy.  I saw another report of three inches of snow falliing in just thirty minutes in another city.  Again, think about that:  some of us picked up that much snow the entire day Monday.  They got it in a half-hour.

The bottom line is that the forecast for this storm was outstanding.  The people “complaining” about the forecast don’t understand that the weather is more than what happens in their backyard.  This storm is also a great example of how precise we sometimes have to be in making our forecasts, and how difficult that can be.
 


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