DETROIT – Many of us woke up Thursday with temperatures in the 70s.
Then a cold front came through and temps have been falling all day. Yes, as we told you, it'll be colder when you come home from work Thursday than it was when you left in the morning.
Before getting to the forecast, just a quick mention about Wednesday night's weather. Once again, we dodged a major bullet. This was the story line most of the summer and autumn hasn't changed things: the cold front approached late at night when atmospheric instability was weakest.
What had us concerned about Wednesday night was the wind field aloft.
There was tremendous wind shear (change in the wind direction and speed as you headed from the surface up through around 20,000 feet). Had any of the storms that developed Wednesday to our north and west survived the trip into southeast Michigan Wednesday night, then severe thunderstorms and even a few tornadoes were possible. But due to the lack of instability, the storms simply fell apart, and we lucked out again. No complaints from the Local4Casters.
Skies will remain mostly clear for the first part of Thursday night, then clouds will increase again later at night. Lows in the low to mid-40s (5 to 7 degrees Celsius), with a north-northeast wind at 3 to 7 mph. You'll notice the change in air masses when you leave for work Friday morning!
We'll start Friday (TGIF!) with a few breaks of sun, but clouds will continue increasing and a few light showers are then possible. Expect cooler highs in the low to mid 60s (17 degrees Celsius). Northeast to east wind at 8 to 12 mph.
Friday evening should bring just a continuation of the day's scattered light showers -- hopefully we'll keep some dry weather for our Friday evening high school games. Temperatures will initially fall into the upper 50s (14 to 15 degrees Celsius) overnight, then rise into the mid 60s (18 degrees Celsius) toward dawn -- except for the Thumb -- as a warm front crosses the area.
Of greater concern is a more organized batch of thunderstorms that could potentially cross the area near that warm front late Friday night into early Saturday morning. You know what we always say: Never trust a warm front. We're concerned that some severe storms could arise either late Friday night or on Saturday, and we'll monitor this carefully and update you Friday.
After those early morning storms move out, skies may become partly cloudy on our Saturday, before scattered showers and even a thunderstorm are possible during the day. It's impossible to pinpoint exactly where they will be, but be prepared for rain if you're going to either Michigan's or Michigan State's homecoming games in Ann Arbor and East Lansing. Highs, however, should get close to 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius), and it'll be muggy. That means it'll be pretty uncomfortable under those raincoats and ponchos if it rains.
Showers and thunderstorms are likely Saturday night as the next cold front approaches, with lows in the mid 60s (18 degrees Celsius).
Showers are likely on Sunday as that cold front stalls, with highs in the low 70s (22 degrees Celsius).
On Monday, the cold front stretches out horizontally across the southern part of the state, then is shoved back to the north as a warm front. So some of us could start the day with a shower or thunderstorm, followed by some breaks of sun and highs in the low 80s (27 degrees Celsius).
Tuesday and Wednesday both look partly cloudy, with just a small thunderstorm chance. It'll feel like summer, with highs in the low 80s (28 degrees Celsius).
The Society of Environmental Journalists convened its annual national conference Wednesday in Flint, and I had the privilege of participating as one of the instructors in a seminar teaching environmental journalists best practice techniques and strategies covering climate change. It was a wonderful experience, and I met a lot of great people. The conference continues into this weekend -- welcome to all of the conference attendees!