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Metro Detroit weather: Accumulating snow on the way

How will it affect Friday's rush hours?

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DETROIT – What a beautiful Thursday in Metro Detroit.

There was abundant sunshine with a higher March sun angle that felt pretty good and more than offset high temperatures that held only in the mid- to upper 30s for most of the day (3 to 4 degrees Celsius).

But just when you thought it was safe to come out of the house, more snow is on the way. I’ll get to that in a moment.

Thursday night will pose no problems, as skies should remain mostly clear throughout the night before becoming partly cloudy late at night. Lows will be in the low to mid-20s (-5 degrees Celsius) and there won’t be much wind to create the bitter wind chills we’ve had recently.

We should have a dry Friday morning rush hour. Skies will become cloudy by mid-morning and snow should move into the western part of the area by mid- to late morning. As long as our in-house RPM model has a good handle on the timing, it appears snow should be falling west of a line from approximately Owosso to Howell to Metro Airport to Rockwood by noon and overspread the rest of the area during the next few hours.

Temperatures should rise above freezing during the afternoon, so salt will be highly effective. Snow will still be falling during the afternoon rush, with a wintry mix and rain also possible, so plan on a slower commute home.

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As for accumulations, right now, it appears that around an inch is possible, perhaps a bit more if any moderate snow bands develop.

Keep in mind that, given the relatively milder temperatures, not only will some of the snow melt on paved surfaces, this should be a good packing snow for the children, if you get enough in your neighborhood. They certainly haven’t had many good opportunities for snowball fights and building snowmen this season, and I still haven’t made my annual snow bowler in front of my house.

With highs in the mid- to upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius), they won’t have to wear seventeen layers to play outside. Even the wind, from the southeast at 8 to 13 mph, won't be too bad.

Friday’s sunrise is at 7:41 a.m., and Friday’s sunset is at 7:42 p.m.

As most of you know, Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, and being on a Friday this year and also coinciding with the second day of the NCAA Tournament, there will be a lot of people drinking in bars and at home parties. Please, either have a designated driver, call a cab or use one of the driver apps.

The combination of snowy, wet roads with drunken drivers really scares me. You’ve probably seen some of the recent stories on ClickOnDetroit.com and Local 4 about drunk driving and the consequences, and those consequences are something you never want to face. Aside from jail time, losing your driver’s license and paying a lot of money in legal fees, you might also have to live the rest of your life knowing that you killed somebody.

Please be responsible on Friday. I have always taken great pride at volunteering to be a designated driver and always have as much fun as my friends without getting drunk. You can step up do the same.

Snow will diminish to scattered light snow showers Saturday night, with lows in the low 30s (0 degrees Celsius).

It will be mostly cloudy on Saturday with scattered light snow and rain showers. Highs will be in the low 40s (6 degrees Celsius).

It will be mostly cloudy Saturday night, with lows near 30 degrees (-1 degree Celsius).

Sunday will be partly cloudy, with highs in the mid-40s (7 to 8 degrees Celsius). This will definitely be the better of the two weekend days.

It will become cloudy and milder on Monday, with rain showers developing. Highs will be near 50 degrees (10 degree Celsius).

Tuesday will be partly cloudy and breezy, with highs in the low 40s (6 degree Celsius).

It will be mostly sunny on Wednesday, with highs in the upper 30s (4 degree Celsius).

It will be partly cloudy on Thursday, with highs in the low 40s (5 degree Celsius).

Friday will bring in a nice shot of warmer air but it will also bring a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs could potentially reach 60 degrees (15 to 16 degree Celsius). Of course, this is still a long way off, and could change, but the models are showing enough similarities on Thursday that I’m pretty confident at this point about the big warm-up at the end of next week.


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