Metro Detroit weather: Another rain record bites the dust

Here is the weather forecast for Detroit.

DETROIT – We did it again: Detroit Metro Airport received 1.58 inches of rain from yesterday’s storms, which obliterated the old Sept. 8 daily rainfall record of 0.91 inches, set in 1942.

That’s our fifth daily rainfall record set here in Detroit since July 1st, and our 8th since the beginning of the year. Since some of you will ask the question "Is global warming causing this?” let me briefly address this. Global warming did not cause the storms that gave us that rainfall.

However, it is documented fact that global warming is increasing the amount of moisture in the atmosphere (from increased evaporation of ocean water due to warmer air and water temps), and storms use that moisture to generate precipitation.

So, it is accurate to say that, while global warming does not cause specific storms, it does predispose them to drop more rain. It’s sort of like a baseball player using steroids: He hit a lot of home runs before using steroids, but then started hitting the ball even farther with steroids, so some of those long flyball outs then became home runs.

Bottom line: Steroids did not cause the player to hit a home run, but it did make him hit the ball farther. Same thing with the atmosphere: We’ve put it on “steroids,” and high-end precipitation events are becoming much more common.

Wednesday forecast

Fortunately, there’s not much rain in today’s forecast -- just the chance for some patchy drizzle. Cloudy skies may allow a few breaks of sun by late afternoon, with areas south of I-94 having the best chance of seeing a few rays.

Highs in the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius) is still well below average, but keep in mind that if more sunshine than expected developed (especially south), then high temps will end up much warmer. North-northeast wind at 5 to 10 mph means that the Lakeshore Flood Advisory for the Lake Huron shoreline remains in effect until 8:00 p.m.

Today’s sunrise is at 7:08 a.m., and today’s sunset is at 7:53 p.m.

Cloudy Wednesday night, with a few light showers possible. Lows in the upper 50s (14 to 15 degrees Celsius). North wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday, Friday forecast

Cloudy skies Thursday may break just in time to get a small glimpse of sun by late afternoon. There is a scattered shower chance first thing in the morning. Highs in the upper 60s (20 degrees Celsius).

Becoming partly cloudy Thursday night, with lows in the low 50s (11 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Friday, with highs in the low 70s (21 to 22 degrees Celsius). As long as we get that sunshine, it should be a relatively pleasant day to end the work week.

Partly cloudy Friday night, with lows in the low to mid 50s (12 to 13 degrees Celsius).

Weekend outlook

Partly cloudy to mostly cloudy on Saturday, with highs in the mid 70s (25 degrees Celsius).

We’ll hopefully keep things dry early Saturday evening, but it’s a very close call. Then showers and a few rumbles of thunder develop overnight. Lows in the low 60s (17 degrees Celsius).

Sunday starts with showers and possible thunderstorms but, if the long-range computer models are right, we may dry out in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 70s (25 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.