DETROIT – Sunday is the day we have been targeting and telling you about since last Tuesday.
Do not be fooled if any of you are waking up to some brief sunshine. A “dry slot” is quickly crossing the area and will shut down the rain (and most of the clouds) for a short period of time. Some of you may sleep through it.
Very strong winds will quickly develop and continue all day into the evening hours.
The wind will blow continuously at 30 to 40 mph, with gusts to and even above 50 mph easily attainable.
Remember that when the National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning for severe wind gusts, those gusts are expected to reach or exceed 58 mph, but that is usually just for a brief period of time.
We will be not too far from that threshold all day and evening.
For some additional perspective, the National Hurricane Center names a tropical storm when sustained winds exceed 39 mph.
Needless to say, there will be some damage and power outages due to the extended nature of this wind event.
If you are participating in the American Lung Association’s signature fundraising event, Fight for Air Climb, which takes place in two side-by-side buildings – Ally Detroit Center and One Woodward – use a lot of caution driving downtown, as the wind will definitely affect your driving. Likewise if you are heading down to the Red Wings game against the San Jose Sharks around 3 p.m. at Little Caesars Arena.
And if you are competing in the State Bowling Tournament at Grand Blanc Lanes (I’ll see you there), you will have a rough drive back down I-75 later Sunday as those ferocious west-to-east winds try to blow you to the left.
Keep two hands on the wheel.
As for precipitation, any scattered rain showers this morning will change to scattered snow showers.
But forget about the umbrella; it is useless on a day like this.
Temperatures, which start in the 40s, will fall into the 30s by the end of the afternoon.
One last caution: Lake-effect snow squalls combined with this wind will create whiteout conditions as you approach the western side of the state.
If you plan to travel in that direction Sunday, I would consider re-evaluating those plans.