53ºF

Metro Detroit weather forecast: Today is the coldest day of the year; wind chill advisory issued

Arctic blast will stick around for a while

DETROIT – A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties until 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The Local4Casters have expected this for over a week now, and it’s finally here.  We will be in the deep freeze with well-below average (but not record-breaking) temperatures for at least the next week.  

WATCH: What's lake effect snow and how does it form?

Earlier this morning, very cold temperatures prevented salt from working – but that was at night or when the sun angle was very low.  Now that the sun is up, that solar radiation works in concert with the salt to restore its effectiveness.  

READ: When does salt work, and when does it not?

That’s the good news. The bad news is that any wet pavement this evening from salt that melted snow could freeze into ice overnight since temperatures will once again crash.   Making matters worse is the wind.  Even though it’s not a strong wind, any wind in temperatures this cold generates wind chill, and you’ll notice the bitter cold when you step outside.

Today started with some sunshine, but skies should become mostly cloudy by afternoon.  Chance for a scattered flurry or light snow shower this afternoon but, at this point, I do not expect anything impactful.

Highs only in the low teens (-11 degrees Celsius), with some locations in the northern part of our area even colder.  West-southwest wind at 8 to 13 mph will generate sub-zero wind chills (-18 to -20 degrees Celsius) even this afternoon, so it’ll be a cold one.

Today will start out with at least some sunshine, before skies become mostly cloudy by afternoon. Chance for a scattered flurry or light snow shower this afternoon but, at this point, I do not expect anything impactful.  Highs only in the low teens (-11 degrees Celsius), with some locations in the northern part of our area even colder.  West-southwest wind at 8 to 13 mph will generate sub-zero wind chills (-18 to -20 degrees Celsius) for the bulk of the day, so it’ll be a cold one.

Today’s sunrise is at 8:01 a.m., and today’s sunset is at 5:07 p.m.

Becoming mostly clear tonight, with lows near zero (-17 to -18 degrees Celsius).  West-southwest wind at 4 to 7 mph.

Wednesday forecast

Partly cloudy on Wednesday, with highs again only in the low teens (-11 degrees Celsius).

Mostly clear to start Wednesday night, then becoming partly cloudy later at night.  Lows near zero (-17 to -18 degrees Celsius).

Thursday forecast

Increasing clouds on Thursday, but the daylight hours should remain dry.  Highs in the mid teens (-9 degrees Celsius).

Snow Thursday night into Friday

Snow develops Thursday night and continues into Friday. At first glance, this doesn't appear to be a powerful storm -- perhaps a 1-3 inches type of storm -- but keep in mind that the upper level disturbance that will create this storm is still out over the Pacific, and won’t cross onto the continent for another day or so.  Only then will we be able to study its physics with data from our land-based upper air weather balloon network, at which point the computer models should start coming into better agreement on its strength and track.  Bottom line:  stay tuned, as there could be changes.  Lows Thursday night around 9 degrees (-13 degrees Celsius), and highs Friday near 20 degrees (-6 to -7 degrees Celsius).

Windy with snow showers likely on Saturday, with highs back into the mid teens (-9 degrees Celsius).

Becoming partly cloudy Saturday night, with lows near zero (-17 to -18 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Sunday, with highs in the mid teens (-10 degrees Celsius).

New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day looks dry, fortunately, although it’ll be continued very cold, and I see the well-below average temperatures continuing through the end of next week, before a bit of moderation (hopefully) takes place.

As you’ve just read, we have a bitter cold week ahead for the kids’ school vacation.  If it’s too cold for the kids to play outside, there are a LOT of things to do with them on their holiday break from school.  If they’re into science, try the Michigan Science Center, the Cranbrook Institute of Science, or the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum -- all promise a great time.  

There’s the Detroit Historical Museum to give them a taste of Detroit history.  There’s the Detroit Institute of Arts - so much to see and do there (and remember that it’s more than “just” paintings -- they have medieval suits of armor, ancient Egyptian artifacts, and all sorts of neat stuff that the kids will enjoy).  If they’re into music, how about taking them to the Motown Museum for some Detroit music history?  And check the Pistons and Red Wings schedules -- Little Caesars Arena is a great place to watch a game.  And while you’re downtown, take them on the new Q-Line!  Or, for a lot of fun on the cheap, take them bowling!


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