Metro Detroit weather: Tracking thunderstorm chances on Fourth of July

Weekend brings relief from humidity

DETROIT – Happy Fourth of July Eve! Metro Detroit got a break from the strong storms Wednesday, and it looks like that will continue into our holiday. The heat will head upward again, though.

For the remainder of Wednesday night, a few slow-moving downpours might pop up, generally south of Eight Mile Road. A lightning strike is possible, but the air is much more stable Wednesday than Thursday. That stability also led to Wednesday's air quality alert. Lows will bottom out around 70 degrees.

For Independence Day on Thursday, we will become more unstable. The good news is the air quality will improve, so no Ozone Action Day. The bad news is that instability will lead to more thunderstorms.


Right now, it does not look as if storms will be severe. Even a garden variety thunderstorm produces lightning, which is still a deadly threat if you're outdoors. These storms will affect only a minority of the area for a small amount of time, so barbecues and fireworks will still get the green light.

Keep the Local 4Casters app with you. In addition to watching the radar, don’t forget you can see lightning strikes, too. Click the "Live Maps" tab and select "Lightning" to see the strikes overlaid on the radar. Zoom in to your location and you’ll see when lightning comes within 10 miles. That’s a good rule of thumb to know when to get the children out of the pool or move the picnic inside for a brief time.

Local 4Casters app (WDIV)
Local 4Casters app (WDIV)

Sunset is at 9:12 p.m. Thursday with very little moon visible (only 5%). Plus, the moon will set at 11:03 p.m., so if you’re calculating fireworks times at home, put that in your spreadsheet.

Friday will be very warm and humid with highs in the low 90s and heat index readings in the mid-90s.

The weekend will bring relief. We’ll be slightly cooler and less humid Saturday as a cold front passes through, but that front will be close enough to keep a scattered storm in the forecast Saturday.

On Sunday, we'll be bright, dry and even less humid. It’s really the shining gem of our four-day holiday weekend.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

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