45ºF

Metro Detroit braces for ice storm: What you need to know

Photo: Pixabay

DETROIT – Rain and 50s will quickly turn to another winter headache.

You can expect freezing rain to blanket the area in about 36 hours, giving us a solid sheet of ice.

For the remainder of tonight, we wave goodbye to our excessively mild temperatures. Rain will hang around through mid-evening when a cold front slices through, drying us out and marking the return of winter.

Here comes the ice

We will be on our way to below-freezing temperatures by tomorrow morning’s drive -- mostly 20s.

Tuesday will remain dry during the day, even providing some decent sunshine. But unlike the last couple days, that will only get us into the mid 30s by the afternoon.

The main weather story unfolds after midnight on Tuesday, freezing rain will move in under the cover of darkness, leaving everything icy by the time we wake up on Wednesday morning.

Expect the ice to continue accumulating through mid-morning.

Total ice accumulations will be 0.1” to 0.2” primarily south of M-59.

At those levels, dangerous travel will be the most likely impact. Some isolated downed branches or an isolated power outage is possible, but that usually becomes more of an issue when ice accumulations top a quarter inch. And that is what northern Michigan is expecting with ice storm warnings posted there.

The ice leaves us before lunch on Wednesday, providing dry conditions the remainder of the day. Temperatures rise from the low-and-mid 20s in the morning to only the low-and-mid 30s by afternoon.

That means we will not spend much time above freezing.

Thursday

Plain rain is back on Thursday as highs hit the mid 40s. But another sharp cool down lies behind the drops.