Metro Detroit weather forecast: January thaw arrives

Scattered light rain showers cross area

Paul Gross takes a look at the upcoming Metro Detroit weather forecast for Jan. 22, 2018. (WDIV)
Paul Gross takes a look at the upcoming Metro Detroit weather forecast for Jan. 22, 2018. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The weekend weather scenario played out exactly as expected, and I hope you took advantage of the milder weather, because changes are on the way. It’s still mild outside right now, as afternoon temperatures approached and even surpassed 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius). The only exception is the middle and northern Thumb, which lagged behind in the temperature department as the warm front (the front edge of the warmer air) struggled as it tried to move farther north.

Scattered light rain showers will cross the area overnight ahead of an approaching cold front (the front edge of a colder air mass). Temperatures will be slow to fall since the front won’t arrive until the middle of the night, and we’ll still be in the upper 30s to near 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius) when we leave for work and school Tuesday morning. Wind will blow from the south-southwest at 8 to 13 mph.

Rain showers, possibly mixed with some wet snow, are possible Tuesday morning, followed by snow showers and possibly even a snow squall in the afternoon as a trough of low pressure (kind of like a cold front that didn’t graduate from cold front school) crosses the area. As mentioned above, temperatures will start out not far from 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius) first thing in the morning, perhaps drop a degree or so by lunchtime, and then fall to near freezing by late afternoon or early evening. Watch out for icy spots if you’ll be out Tuesday evening and later. Adding insult to injury is that it’ll also become windy during the afternoon, with winds increasing to 20 to 25 mph from the southwest.

Tuesday’s sunrise is at 7:55 a.m., and Tuesday’s sunset is at 5:36 p.m.

Scattered snow showers continue Tuesday night, with lows in the low 20s (-6 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy on Wednesday, with highs in the low 30s (-1 to 0 degrees Celsius).

Becoming mostly clear Wednesday night, with lows near 20 degrees (-7 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy on Thursday, with highs in the mid 30s (1 to 2 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy Thursday night, with lows in the mid 20s (-4 degrees Celsius).

Friday is the start of Meridian Winter Blast weekend downtown, and it’ll be a great day with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 40s (6 degrees Celsius). It’ll become breezy, making it feel more like “regular” winter temperatures.

The weekend offers a bit of uncertainty due to the long range computer models not agreeing upon the timing of an approaching cold front. The ECMWF model holds off the front until late Saturday night, and thus gives us a chance of rain showers during the day. Meanwhile, the GFS model already has the front through by Saturday morning, keeping the daylight hours dry.

Given that the GFS model sometimes has a bias of speeding things up too fast (and also since the GEM model’s timing looks closer to the ECMWF’s timing), I’ll go with a chance of showers right now, with highs in the mid 40s (7 degrees Celsius).

Sunday looks more dry than wet, but some rain drops / snowflakes can’t be ruled out.  Highs in the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius).

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