Dodging some raindrops this weekend

Then get ready for a bad week of weather


DETROIT – Yesterday’s active weather didn’t give me the chance to thank those of you who sent well wishes via e-mail and social media during my time off work after last week’s surgery.

I had to have a badly herniated disc taken care of. The surgery just removed the part of the disc bulging out from between the vertebrae. This wasn’t a fusion. But back surgery is still back surgery and, once the doctor gave me the go-ahead to start driving again, I was very happy to get back to work only nine days later, which is well ahead of schedule for most people, despite some complications a couple of days after surgery that sent me back to the hospital in an ambulance.

I must add that, from the perspective of lying flat in an ambulance in pain, I can tell you precisely the condition of our roads, and that assessment isn’t good. Huge shout-out and thanks to all of the pre-op, operating room, and post-op men and women who treated me at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, you folks were terrific!

Alright, let’s talk about our weekend. We are entering a relatively unsettled pattern that’s going to take at least a week to get rid of.  My job is to try and help you plan around the weekend rain, and I’ll do the best I can. Tonight we’ll see some scattered light showers, with lows in the upper 40s (9 degrees Celsius). Wind will blow from the north-northeast, at 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday appears to be much more dry than wet, although if you’re caught outside when a shower passes through, that’s more than wet enough for you. The day should start dry, then a band of light showers will cross the area during the afternoon. It appears that the showers should last around an hour or so, so the day won’t be a washout.

The best advice I can give you is to make sure you check the radar on our Local4Casters app (download it for FREE from the app store, just search under WDIV) before you start any outdoor chores, during that round of golf, before the dog takes you for a walk, and during the Rouge Rescue activities around town. Highs Saturday are actually a little tricky.

Based on the 8 to 13 mph east wind we’ll have, the expected cloud cover, and the afternoon rain chance, I think we’ll see highs around 60 degrees (15-16 degrees Celsius). Obviously, if we get more sun than I expect, then temps will be a little higher, and you folks near the big lakes know what an east wind does to you in the spring, you’ll be cooler than the rest of us.

After a Saturday evening break from the rain (good news for date night), showers and possible thunderstorms increase later at night. Lows in the upper 50s (14 degrees Celsius).

Showers and thunderstorms are likely on Sunday but, as I mentioned yesterday, the computer models have slight differences in the timing of the front coming through, and that timing makes all the difference in the world.

The ECMWF and CMC models end the rain by early afternoon and then dry us out, while the GFS holds onto the rain just a few hours longer. The differences are truly so slight (but magnified due to it being a weekend day) that it’s hard to choose one model.

Again, this is another good reason to check the radar on our app to check the rain’s progress. Sunday does appear to be warmer, with highs in the mid 70s (25 degrees Celsius), and it’ll become breezy during the afternoon.

Partly to mostly cloudy Sunday night, with lows in the low 50s.

Partly cloudy on Monday, with highs in the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius).

Showers are then likely on Tuesday and Wednesday, and possibly even into Thursday. Highs Tuesday in the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius) will feel pretty good compared to highs in the low 60s (16 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday.

Any lingering showers on Thursday should end during the afternoon.  Highs in the mid 60s (17-18 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy on Friday, with highs in the low 70s (25 degrees Celsius).

Weather Radio Campaign Day

Our second Weather Radio Campaign Day of the season will take place on Tuesday, May 23, at the Meijer Store on Mound Road in Warren.

Brandon Roux and Ben Bailey will be broadcasting their weather live from the store between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. I cannot underscore enough how important it is to have a weather radio, especially in lieu of the tornado disasters that have occurred this week in the central plains.

Two important lessons resound: first, a number of people said that they took shelter based upon hearing (or not hearing) their local tornado siren. Those sirens are specifically designed to warn people OUTSIDE about approaching dangerous weather.

If you hear the siren inside your home, that’s a bonus, and you probably won’t hear it when you’re sleeping.  The second lesson is learned simply from the video of the hardest hit areas. Many people live in mobile homes and less sturdy structures that are much more susceptible to severe damage from a tornado, and a weather radio will give you the most notice to seek sturdier shelter.

Come on out and see us in Warren on Tuesday, not only can you get your weather radio programmed for the specific county you want it to alert you for, but you’ll also get your backup batteries free!

Global Warming Update

I received some pretty, interesting and timely information this week that I’d like to share with you. Obviously, Mother Nature succeeded in getting your attention this week with those three days with temps well above 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius). If you seem to think that our first 80 degree days are coming earlier and earlier, the statistics bear that out. Check out this graph from my friends at Climate Central (a non-advocacy organization that takes complex climate change information and creates eye-catching, easy-to-understand visuals like this):


As you can see, there has been a robust trend since 1970 of the season’s first 80 degree day coming earlier, and this isn’t just a minor statistical blip. On average, our first 80 degree day is coming three-to-four weeks earlier than it did in 1970. As I’ve explained many times in the past, these early-season heat waves sure do get us excited (with good reason).

However, they also trigger an earlier flowering of our fruit tree blossoms, which then makes those blossoms susceptible to subsequent frost and freezes. This, too, is starting to happen more frequently -- and it happened just this year, in fact, although we don’t yet know the damage to our state’s tart cherry crop.

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