72ºF

Beautiful Wednesday ahead

Strong storms on horizon

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DETROIT – Before getting to the forecast, I need to explain something about last night’s fireworks weather.

Monday was one of those uncommon days that shows that there are still occasional limitations to my science and what it is able to provide.  As you recall, it was a day that started with some sunshine, and then those puffy cumulus clouds started popping up by mid-to-late morning.  The air aloft was quite cold, which meant that the atmosphere was unstable, even though it was relatively cool here at the surface.  So, as we approached the warmest part of the afternoon, some of those cumulus clouds continued developing vertically, and widely scattered showers developed.  The vast majority of us didn’t get any rain Monday afternoon, but a few of us, especially in our North Zone, did.  Here’s the key to the fireworks forecast:  even though an upper level disturbance was approaching Monday evening, cooling surface temperatures as the sun went down was expected to stabilize the atmosphere enough that no additional cumulus clouds and rain would develop.  In fact, as we moved into the early evening hours, the daytime showers indeed started to diminish (and a spectacular rainbow that some of you saw also developed as the sun lowered in the sky).  However, around 9:00 p.m., I suddenly saw a few additional showers pop up on radar – they were over eastern Washtenaw County, and moving east.  That wasn’t supposed to happen, and immediately signaled to me that the upper level disturbance was just strong enough to overcome the very limited instability.  I quickly texted a radar loop to the Parade Company’s Tony Michaels to let him know about the change in the forecast, and also tweeted that information (if you don’t already follow me on Twitter, I’m at @PGLocal4).  As you know by now if you were either at the fireworks or watching the show on Local 4, the first of those showers hit downtown right as the fireworks started, and the second one just before the grand finale.  Not one high-resolution computer model Monday afternoon suggested that these post 9:00 p.m. showers were even possible.  If you were caught out in the rain, you have reason to be frustrated:  it wasn’t supposed to happen after 9:00 p.m.  I’m sorry about what transpired but, after going back through all of Monday’s computer model data still available to me, there’s nothing I could have done differently with my forecast.

Fortunately, we have a beautiful night and day ahead.  Skies will quickly clear overnight, with lows in the mid 50s (13 degrees Celsius)…a spectacular sleeping night.  Light southwest wind.

Mostly sunny on Wednesday…this continues to look like our best day of the week.  Highs in the upper 70s (26 degrees Celsius).  South wind at 10 to 15 mph by afternoon will be a pleasant breeze.  Don’t forget the sunscreen if you’ll be outside…the sun’s rays are their most intense of the entire year right now.

Wednesday’s sunrise is at 5:59 a.m., and Wednesday’s sunset is at 9:14 p.m.

Increasing clouds Wednesday night with a shower or thunderstorm possible as a warm front crosses the area.  Lows in the mid 60s (18 degrees Celsius).

A period of showers and thunderstorms are likely on Thursday (probably during the afternoon) as a cold front approaches.  A few strong storms are possible, particularly south of 8 Mile.  Highs in the low to mid 80s (28-29 degrees Celsius).

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The Thursday cold front stalls, and then starts moving back to the north as a warm front late Thursday night – and that will trigger another chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Lows in the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius).

We have another batch of showers and storms to contend with on Friday as the front comes back south as a cold front, and there could be a few strong storms then, too.  Highs in the low to mid 80s (28-29 degrees Celsius).

The Weekend

There’s still some uncertainty about the Saturday forecast.  We should see partly sunny skies (which means more clouds than sun, but some sun), and some scattered showers possible during the afternoon…kind of like what happened on Monday.  Highs in the low 80s (28 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy Saturday night, with lows in the low 60s (16-17 degrees Celsius).

Sunday looks partly cloudy and nice, with highs in the low 80s (28 degrees Celsius).

4th of July Holiday

The overall pattern gets very challenging early next week, as the front that kept wavering north and south of us on Thursday and Friday should lay south of us in Ohio and Indiana.  However, the models differ upon just how far south it’ll be…and that raises huge questions about whether we get any thunderstorms or not.  So, at this point I have to call both days partly cloudy, with a potential  chance of thunderstorms (but not all day rain).  Highs should be in the mid 80s (29 degrees Celsius).  Obviously, I’ll keep a very close eye on your holiday weather, and keep you apprised through the week.

Beyond the 4th, I see a warming trend, and we could be approaching 90 degrees (32 degrees Celsius). By the end of the week.


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