Metro Detroit weather: Get ready for some serious weather whiplash

Metro Detroit weather forecast for Jan. 7, 2019 -- morning update
Metro Detroit weather forecast for Jan. 7, 2019 -- morning update

After a relatively stable temperature regime we’ve enjoyed, we are going to see some sharp ups and downs the remainder of this week, and the timing of arriving moisture with those temperature swings, of course, will dictate what kind of precipitation we receive.

Today will feature at least partly cloudy skies, followed by an Arctic cold front crossing the area in the mid to late afternoon with a quick band of snow showers. Since the front doesn’t arrive until this afternoon, highs ahead of it should reach the low 40s (6 degrees Celsius). Southwest winds will increase to 10 to 15 mph this afternoon.

It’ll be interesting to watch the front’s progress this afternoon on the free Local4Casters weather app. The app’s radar should show that narrow band of snow quite nicely.

Today’s sunrise is at 8:02 a.m., and today’s sunset is at 5:17 p.m.

Scattered lake effect snow showers are possible Tuesday night, and the wind will pick up as well…ushering in a much colder air mass that will drop temps into the low 20s (-6 to -5 degrees Celsius). By morning, westerly winds at 15 to 20 mph will put wind chills in the single digits (-13 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny on Wednesday, but it’ll be cold sunshine with highs in the mid to upper 20s (-3 to -2 degrees Celsius), and the wind keeping wind chills in the teens (-9 degrees Celsius).

Becoming partly cloudy Wednesday night, with lows in the mid to upper teens (-8 degrees Celsius). Fortunately, the wind will be lightening up overnight, although there will still be colder wind chills.

Even if we start Thursday with partial sunshine, skies will cloud up. Rain showers are possible by late afternoon. Highs rebounding into the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius).

Rain is likely Thursday night into Friday, with highs Friday near 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius).

Weekend Storm Update

It appears that rain will be the dominant precipitation type on Saturday, with highs still well into the 40s (8 to 9 degrees Celsius). Yesterday’s GFS model (the “American model”) had a farther south depiction, which meant colder air and snow, but that model has now come into better agreement with the ECMWF (“European model”) model with rain during the day Saturday, which then transitions to accumulating snow Saturday night.

It’s way too early to get specific with snow totals, but a few inches should be easily attainable. **Important caveat: the upper level system that will generate this storm is still way out over the Pacific. This forecast could change! Our confidence in the computer models should also increase on Thursday as that upper level system crosses the west coast and can then be studied by our land-based weather balloon network.

Any lingering snow Sunday morning should end, with some sunshine developing during the afternoon. Highs in the mid to upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius).

About the Author:

Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has spent his entire life and career right here in southeast Michigan. Paul has researched, written and produced eight half-hour documentaries for WDIV, as well as many science, historical and environmental stories.