Metro Detroit weather: Monitoring a freezing rain threat

Clouds return overnight


DETROIT – Well, we finally dried out today after a Monday-through-Wednesday period that brought one-to-three inches of rain and flooding to the area. The afternoon sunshine sure looked good, but don’t get used to it, as clouds will roll right back in tonight.

An area of moisture heading this way will generate some light rain or drizzle late at night. The problem with that is our surface temperature, which should drop to around 31 degrees (-1 degree Celsius) overnight.

Ben Bailey and I have been watching dewpoint temperatures, which right now are in the mid 20s (-4 degrees Celsius) across the area and, combined with the east-northeast wind we’ll have most of the night (supplying more cold, dry air), we feel confident that temperatures will be at or slightly below freezing during the initial two hours of this rain.

This means that it will briefly freeze on contact with surfaces, creating a light icing, so be careful if you’ll be out early, particularly between 5:00 and 8:00 a.m. The light freezing rain will quickly change to light rain from south to north, and most of the Friday morning precipitation will be rain, which will end around lunchtime.

The afternoon should be dry, but mostly cloudy, with highs in the upper 40s (9 degrees Celsius).  Light wind will become southeast, and then southwest, increasing to 10 to 20 mph in the afternoon.

Friday’s sunrise is at 7:18 a.m., and Friday’s sunset is at 6:16 p.m.

Becoming partly cloudy Friday night, with lows in the mid 30s (1 to 2 degrees Celsius).

Becoming cloudy on Saturday, with rain showers likely by late afternoon.  Highs in the mid 40s (6 to 7 degrees Celsius).

Rain continues throughout Saturday night, with temperatures only falling into the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius).

There could be some showers first thing Sunday morning, but those should end pretty quickly and skies will become mostly sunny by afternoon.  Highs in the low 50s (11 degrees Celsius), but it’ll also become windy.

Mostly clear Sunday night, with lows in the low 30s (0 to 1 degree Celsius).

Mostly sunny both Monday and Tuesday, with highs in the mid and upper 40s, respectively (7 to 9 degrees Celsius).

The super-long range computer models (along with the expected phase of a circulation pattern called the NAO - North Atlantic Oscillation - suggest that we’ll transition back to a cold temperature regime by next weekend, extending well into the start of March.

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