Metro Detroit weather: Ready for a warm-up?

Plus, the latest on Florence and the other tropical storms

A view of Detroit on Sept. 11, 2018. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon finally moved off, and we got back to some welcomed sunshine today. Temperature this afternoon were a little below average, but don’t worry.. -- we’ll be back above average very soon.

Skies will clear tonight, but those clear skies combined with light wind will allow temperatures to fall very close to the dewpoint temperature, and that means fog develops after 3 a.m. The fog could be locally dense Wednesday morning, so be ready for that when you leave for work. Lows in the mid to upper 50s (14 degrees Celsius), with the air becoming calm.

Fog should dissipate mid-to-late Wednesday morning, with partly cloudy skies the rule for the rest of the day. Highs will nudge a tad higher than they were today, hitting the mid 70s (24 to 25 degrees Celsius). East wind at 4 to 7 mph.

Wednesday’s sunrise is at 7:10 a.m., and Wednesday’s sunset is at 7:48 p.m.

Partly cloudy Wednesday night, with lows in the low 60s (16 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Thursday (possibly mostly cloudy for a while, if we believe one computer model), but warmer with highs near 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy Thursday night, with lows in the low 60s (17 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Friday, with highs in the low 80s (28 degrees Celsius).

Weekend forecast

Our weekend weather, especially Sunday’s, is highly dependent upon Hurricane Florence’s progression inland (more on Florence below). Based upon all of the computer model data we have at our disposal this afternoon, it looks as if Florence will move very slowly once it arrives at the coast, so that should keep us dry and pleasant, with partly cloudy skies both days, and highs continuing in the low 80s (28 degrees Celsius).

Next rain

After another dry day on Monday, Tuesday should be our next good chance to get some showers and thunderstorms.

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence is still a very dangerous major hurricane. As of the 2 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence has wind surrounding its eye blowing continuously at 130 mph, with higher gusts.

The storm is on track to likely hit the southern half of the North Carolina coast, with conditions deteriorating rapidly overnight Thursday night, and at their worst Friday morning. Florence is expected to hit the coast as a destructive Category 3 hurricane.

The computer models are starting to coalesce on a path toward southern North Carolina, which adds confidence in the forecast.

However, it’s important to remember that hurricane force wind will extend out probably over 60 miles from the center, so a large area of coastline will experience hurricane conditions.

Since Florence’s forward speed will decrease as it gets to the coast, heavy rainfall and flooding will be a huge problem. Fifteen- to 20-inch rainfall amounts are likely, with terrain-enhanced amounts to thirty inches possible.

Meteorologists Robert Rausch and Anthony Fracasso at the Weather Prediction Center made an outstanding point this morning: “These forecast rainfall amounts have rarely been recorded in the past century and can result in flooding where it has not been observed from past events.”

This doesn’t even include the massive destruction that will occur from storm surge -- that huge wall of water pushed ashore from the hurricane’s on-shore winds.

One final point: all hurricanes in recent memory that have hit North Carolina have approached generally from the south or southwest, as storms moving across the Atlantic curve to the north or northeast. This storm is coming in from the east-southeast -- a different direction that what they are probably prepared for in some places on the coast. This fact alone is very concerning.

Tropical Storm Olivia

Don’t say that Olivia is “only “ a tropical storm. It’s going to make a direct hit on Hawaii Wednesday, and the expected five to ten inches of rain (with locally higher amounts) falling on Hawaii’s mountainous terrain will cause tremendous flash flooding.

Tropical Storm Isaac

Tropical Storm Isaac will cross the Leeward Islands (Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, etc. on Thursday either as a very strong tropical storm, or a Category 1 hurricane. Current indications are that Isaac will pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba, but remember that long range hurricane forecasts can have significant errors. 

Local 4Casters app

Just a quick reminder that the Local4Casters weather app has one of the best hurricane pages in the world.  You can see satellite images, instantly updated forecast tracks (just tap on any point on the track to get the statistics at that time), and lots of other great features. If you don’t have our app, remember that it’s FREE -- just search under WDIV in the app store.

About the Author:

Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has spent his entire life and career right here in southeast Michigan. Paul has researched, written and produced eight half-hour documentaries for WDIV, as well as many science, historical and environmental stories.