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Metro Detroit weather forecast: Wicked winds whip Metro Detroit

Power outages impact SE Michigan

Heavy winds impact Metro Detroit on May 4, 2018. (WDIV)
Heavy winds impact Metro Detroit on May 4, 2018. (WDIV)

DETROIT – As expected, widespread high winds developed across the area today, with numerous reports of damage and downed power lines as large limbs and even entire trees failed due to the tremendous wind stress.

As of 3:30 p.m., DTE reported at least 230,000 customers without power, so HUGE thanks in advance to all of the crews that will sacrifice their personal weekends to get everybody’s power back on.  And if you see a downed line, keep at least 20-30 feet away from it. In fact, don’t even touch metal fences, just in case there’s a downed wire nearby that you don’t know about.

On a lighter note, if today was your trash day, your garbage and recycling bins are probably in the next zip code.

The line of scattered thunderstorms that crossed the area wouldn’t have been very impressive on any other day.  In fact, today’s storms only extended about 20,000 feet aloft (typical summer severe storms approach 50,000 feet in height). However, there was very strong wind only 10,000 feet aloft, and today’s storms pulled that wind down to the surface, resulting in numerous 40-60 mph gusts this afternoon.

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Strong wind gusts will continue through late afternoon, so the High Wind Warning will remain in effect until 6:00 p.m. Gusts will steadily subside this evening, and wind will eventually only blow from the southwest at 3 to 6 mph, under mostly clear skies. Temperatures will fall to around 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius) by dawn.

Early Saturday morning Heavenly Highlight:

If you’re up before dawn on Saturday, check out the southern sky. There, you’ll see the moon, Saturn and Mars!  It’ll be a pretty sight…

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Saturday’s sunrise is at 6:24 a.m., and Saturday’s sunset is at 8:37 p.m.

Race for the Cure

Saturday morning is Detroit’s annual Race for the Cure, raising a ton of money for cancer research.  If you’ll be participating this year, Mother Nature will cooperate! It’ll be a little chilly at the start (low 50s…11 degrees Celsius), but warm up nicely once the sun gets high enough. Light wind means that it’ll be perfect weather the year!

Race for the Cure is May 4, 2018. (WDIV)
Race for the Cure is May 4, 2018. (WDIV)

The rest of Saturday looks great, with mostly sunny skies becoming partly cloudy by late afternoon or evening. Highs will be very pleasant, in the mid 70s (25 degrees Celsius). Southwest wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Also don’t forget that the Professional Bowlers Association’s “all star game” is Friday night and Saturday at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park.  It’s a great opportunity to watch some incredible competition up close and personal, and with easy access to the players after they’re done for autographs.  You can read all about it here. See you there!

Saturday is also The Detroit Tree Recovery Campaign – a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that will distribute 500 containerized trees to Detroit area residents. This is the second year for the program helping replace trees lost to the Emerald Ash Borer and weather events such as today’s. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, a variety of trees will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis (one per person). The location for this year’s distribution will be Rouge Park at the city’s service yard near the intersection of Spinoza and Joy Rds.  

“These trees are provided by our corporate sponsors FedEx, Google, TruGreen and the Arbor Day Foundation,” said Kevin Sayers, Urban Forestry Program Manager with the DNR. “They will also compliment the City of Detroit’s “10,000 Up” tree planting initiative to help revitalize neighborhoods."

The trees are approximately five to seven feet tall and will be distributed in three-gallon containers. Homeowners will receive planting and care instructions from City of Detroit Forestry staff and volunteers from the Greening of Detroit, Friends of Rouge Park, Huron Pine’s AmeriCorps and corporate sponsors. For questions on the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry program, contact Kevin Sayers at 517-284-5898 or sayersk@michigan.gov, or online at www.mi.gov/ucf.

Partly cloudy Saturday night, with lows in the mid 50s (12 degrees Celsius).

A weak upper level disturbance will approach on Sunday. As we’ve explained many times before, the computer models don’t necessarily always have a good handle on these weak disturbances two or more days in advance…and sometimes even one day beforehand. Today’s models suggest increasing clouds with some scattered showers possible in the afternoon, and highs near 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius).  

Decreasing clouds Sunday night, and it’s going to be a cold night with lows in the upper 30s (3 to 4 degrees Celsius).

Next Week

Mostly sunny on Monday and Tuesday, with cool highs in the low 60s (16 to 17 degrees Celsius) on Monday, then warming into the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius) on Tuesday.

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy on Wednesday, with highs in the low to mid 70s (23 degrees Celsius).

Rain is likely on Thursday, with highs in the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Friday, with highs in the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius).

Next weekend is highly uncertain, as yet another weak weather system rears its ugly head on the long range computer models. It appears that there will be a chance for some rain on part of the weekend, but it’s not clear right now which part.  Don’t make or cancel any plans right now…give us some time to see how this plays out.


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