Metro Detroit weather: Highs in the 20s today, tracking weekend storm

DETROIT – Monday afternoon, I was looking at satellite imagery, and it appeared that some stratus clouds from Lake Michigan were releasing and headed our way.

While stratus clouds normally don’t generate much excitement, I was a little excited because this cloud cover would prevent temperatures from getting as cold as they did Sunday night, and that was indeed the case as we’re starting the day with temps in the upper teens to low 20s (-7 to -6 degrees Celsius).

We’ll start our Tuesday with these clouds, start to see some breaks develop and, hopefully, become just partly cloudy during the afternoon. Highs in the upper 20s to near 30 degrees (-2 to -1 degree Celsius). West wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Today’s sunrise is at 7:56 a.m., and today’s sunset is at 5:33 p.m. By the way, have you noticed that we have a half-hour more daylight than we did a month ago? We’re making slow progress!

Partly cloudy tonight, with lows in the upper teens (-7 degrees Celsius). Southwest wind at 4 to 8 mph.

Partly cloudy on Wednesday, a nice winter day, with highs in the mid 30s (1 degree Celsius).

Increasing clouds Wednesday night, with lows in the mid 20s (-5 to -4 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy on Thursday, with highs in the mid to upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius).

Cloudy Thursday night, with lows in the upper 20s (-2 degrees Celsius).

Updating the Friday, Saturday storm

It still appears that our next storm system will not be a terribly strong one. The big question mark is actually the thermal profile of the lower atmosphere (temperatures from the surface up to about 5000 feet), which dictates what kind of precipitation we’ll get. Based upon this morning’s computer model data, we should start with some rain on Friday, then changing to snow Friday night into part of Saturday.

Since highs Friday will be in the upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius), lows Friday night will only drop a few degrees into the mid 30s (1 degree Celsius), and highs Saturday will be in the mid to upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius), this will be a wet snow. With some luck, enough moisture may still be around to give us a couple or three inches of snow, and it would be great packing snow for the kids to build snowmen, snowwomen, snow bowlers, snow meteorologists, snow forts, snowballs, etc.

CAVEAT: the upper level system that will generate this storm is still out over the Pacific. Changes to this forecast are very possible, as the system won’t cross the west cost until Wednesday, at which point its structure and physics can be studied by our land-based radiosonde (weather balloon) network, and this data then goes into the computer models. Stay tuned.

Regardless of this storm’s evolution, Sunday looks mostly cloudy but dry, with highs in the mid to upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius).

About the Author: