Metro Detroit weather forecast: Coldest night of the season, first snowflakes on horizon

Plus: Our first snowflakes may be on the horizon!


Cold air continued streaming across the state today, and many locations never even made it to 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius) this afternoon.  And you know what usually follows cold days…

Skies will clear overnight and this, combined with winds that will go calm later tonight, will promote excellent radiational cooling…which simply means a very efficient radiating of surface heat  upward into the atmosphere.  Dewpoint temperatures heading this way are near 30 degrees (-1 degrees Celsius), and the temperature can drop close to that number on good radiational cooling nights.  However, we have a typical early season complication:  the ground is still relatively quite warm, and also is quite moist from all the rain we’ve had the past three days, and that tempers the temp drop a bit.  Also, the computer model guidance we use as part of our forecast process gives us projections based upon the same height that the weather stations record the temperatures at:  about six feet above the ground.  Keep in mind that, while tonight’s temp could drop to or even slightly below freezing, down at the ground, where our flowers are, it could be slightly warmer…and that slight difference would be the difference between frost and no frost.  Bottom line:  rural areas outside of our Urban Heat Island could see official temps drop to 32 degrees (0 degrees Celsius), but there’s a much lower chance for frost due to the things discussed above.  If you are the type who wants to keep those flowers going as far into fall as possible, then those of you in rural areas may want to cover yours (or bring the pots into the garage).  But at this point, I think many more of us probably won’t see frost tonight.

I have prepared today’s 4ZONE forecast to show you low temperatures tonight for your neighborhood, and you can see it here.

Mostly sunny on Thursday, with highs in the low to mid 50s (12-13 degrees Celsius).  South to southeast wind at 4 to 8 mph.

Thursday’s sunrise is at 7:59 a.m., and Thursday’s sunset is at 6:35 p.m.

Partly cloudy and not as cold Thursday night, with lows in the mid 40s (6 degrees Celsius).

Increasing clouds on Friday with some showers possible later in the day.  Highs near 60 degrees (15-16 degrees Celsius).  Don’t get used to it…it’ll be a while before we’re back close to 60 degrees.

Rain is likely Friday night, with lows in the mid 40s (6-7 degrees Celsius).

Today’s computer models have sped up Saturday’s cold front slightly, but that’s going to make a big difference in the day we have.  Now, it appears that any showers associated with the front will be in the morning, with rain likely ending by late morning and skies actually becoming partly cloudy for the afternoon as the dry slot behind the front sweeps in.  If this timing ends up verifying, then this is a much better weather outcome for homecoming at Michigan Stadium this Saturday.   The Local4Casters will keep a close eye on things, and keep you updated.

Highs Saturday in the low to mid 50s (11-12 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy Saturday night, with lows in the mid 30s (1-2 degrees Celsius).

Partly to mostly cloudy on Sunday, with highs in the upper 40s (9 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy Sunday night, with lows in the mid 30s (1 degrees Celsius).

Monday looks increasingly interesting.  An upper level disturbance will cross the Great Lakes, and bring cooler air aloft with it.  Depending upon the time of day this disturbance approaches, we could have some rain showers, sleet showers, or even some snow showers!  Now, don’t get carried away with this:  even if it ends up being snow showers, the ground is too warm for anything to stick…paved surfaces will just be wet.  But it sure would be a sign of approaching times.  Highs Monday should reach the mid to upper 40s (8-9 degrees Celsius).

Light snow showers are possible Monday night, with lows in the mid 30s (1 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy on Tuesday, with perhaps a morning flurry possible.  Highs in the upper 40s (9 degrees Celsius).

Trick or Treating forecast

As I’ve been telling you all week, Tuesday evening looks dry for the Trick or Treaters, and that’s the most important thing.  We can handle heat or cold, as long as it’s dry, and this year it’ll be typical Halloween chill, with temperatures in the 40s (6-8 degrees Celsius), but breezy conditions making it feel colder.  Layers under the costumes are advisable…

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