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Detroit Tigers Opening Day weather: Looks like game will stay dry

Opening Day at Comerica Park. (Photo: WDIV/Alex Atwell)
Opening Day at Comerica Park. (Photo: WDIV/Alex Atwell)

DETROIT – Everything is playing out as expected thus far.  

As we’ve explained over the past couple of days, high pressure sliding across the northern Great Lakes has given us an east to northeast wind.  That wind is bringing dry air into the area, which is undercutting the rain that’s trying to advance north from northern Ohio and Indiana.

If you were watching the radar on our Local4Casters app earlier this morning, you undoubtedly noticed the northern edge of an area of rain extending from southern Monroe County back to Adrian and farther west to Hillsdale.  

However, surface observations indicated no rain falling in Michigan…there may have been some drops falling from the clouds, but they were evaporating in the dry air below and not coming close to reaching the ground.  

We’ve also explained in the past that evaporation causes cooling so, as that air column aloft cooled from the evaporating rain, some of those drops changed to snowflakes!  Those snowflakes were still falling into very dry air so those, too, were sublimating well before reaching the ground.  

The dry air is so effectively eating away at that moisture to our south that the echoes on radar have actually been retreating to the south late this morning, and some of you north of M-59 have even had some filtered sunshine!

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Bottom line for Opening Day

The bottom line is that it will be very tough for rain (or snow) to make much progress northward during the afternoon, which is good news for everybody at Opening Day!  Even if the lower atmosphere saturates enough that some drops or flakes survive the trip to the ground, it would be light enough that there should be no interruptions at the game but, at this point, we expect a dry game.  Go Tigers!

It’ll be a cool afternoon, with the coolest temperatures actually being the farther south you are due to thicker clouds.  Generally, highs across the area should reach the low to mid 40s (6 degrees Celsius), with that east to northeast wind at 7 to 12 mph.

Tonight

Rain increases tonight, and it would not surprise us to see some sleet or wet snow mix in, especially north.  Temperatures by morning dropping into the mid 30s (2 degrees Celsius).  Northeast wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Friday

Rain showers Friday morning should taper off midday, with dry weather commencing during the afternoon.  Highs in the low 50s (10 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy Friday night, with lows near 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius).

Weekend

Partly cloudy and warmer on Saturday, with highs near 60 degrees (15 to 16 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy Saturday night…our date night plans will be dry…with lows in the mid 40s (6 to 7 degrees Celsius).

Sunday should start dry, but shower chances increase through the afternoon.  There is still a lot of uncertainty with the rain’s timing.  The GFS and GEM models, for example, are pretty robust with bringing in the rain by early to mid-afternoon.  The ECMWF model, however, holds it off until evening.

Stay tuned.  Highs Sunday should be in the low 60s…but a little warmer if more of the daylight hours remain dry.


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