45ºF

Metro Detroit weather: Very cold night ahead

Get ready for big-time warm-up

DETROIT – Everything played out right on schedule Tuesday evening as that strong cold front came through.

I warned you that the temperature change would be dramatic and immediate, and heard stories Wednesday about people leaving jackets in cars or at home, only to be caught without them after temps dropped 15 degrees after only a couple of hours.

For me, I arrived at the Livonia Public Library at 7 p.m. to give a lecture about Climate Change, and the temperature was 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius).  By the time I left at 9:00 p.m., it was 35 degrees (1.6 degrees Celsius).

Take a look at the temperature drop as recorded at the Troy Airport:

  • 6 p.m.: 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius)
  • 7 p.m.: 45 degrees (7 degrees Celsius)
  • 8 p.m.: 37 degrees (3 degrees Celsius)
  • 9 p.m.: 34 degrees (1 degrees Celsius)

So here we are, back in the deep freeze, and it’s going to be a very cold night ahead as dry air, light wind and clear skies all combine to give us excellent radiational cooling -- a very efficient loss of surface heat. Temperatures should easily drop into the mid to upper teens (-9 to -7 degrees Celsius). Fortunately, there won’t be much (if any) wind to make it feel colder.

Mostly sunny skies at the start of our Thursday will become partly cloudy by midday, and then mostly cloudy by the end of the day. Highs in the low 40s (5 to 6 degrees Celsius) will still be below average, but at least trending in the right direction. East wind at 7 to 12 mph.

Thursday’s sunrise is at 7:31 a.m., and Thursday’s sunset is at 7:49 p.m.

Becoming cloudy Thursday night with rain showers possible after midnight. Lows in the mid 30s (2 degrees Celsius).

Any lingering shower early Friday morning should end as a warm front moves northward. Skies will eventually become partly sunny, and you’ll really notice the temperature jump in the warm sector: highs should reach the low 60s (16 to 17 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy Friday night, with lows in the upper 40s (8 degrees Celsius).

Even if Saturday starts dry, rain should develop. There will probably be a sharp south to north temperature gradient across southeast Michigan on Saturday, with highs in the upper 50s (15 degrees Celsius) across Lenawee and Monroe Counties, mid-50s (13 degrees Celsius) across Wayne and Washtenaw Counties, near 50 (10 degrees Celsius) for Livingston, Oakland and Macomb Counties, and in the upper 40s (8 degrees Celsius) for St. Clair, Lapeer, Genesee and Sanilac Counties.

Rain continues Saturday night into Sunday, with lows Saturday night in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius), and highs Sunday very close to what I described above for Saturday’s highs.

With a little luck, perhaps we can keep Monday dry, although there technically is still a shower chance, especially early in the day. Highs will be in the mid- to upper 50s (14 degrees Celsius).

The unsettled weather pattern continues well into next week, with rain chances on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.


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