Metro Detroit weather: A few more snow flakes

DETROIT – The big nor’easter hammering New England produced the exact impact here in southeast Michigan that I expected, with many of us getting around an inch of snow, and some of us between one and two inches.

Here is the weather forecast for Detroit.

As for today, I think we’ll only see occasional flurries or light snow showers, with no impact on our roads. Highs will struggle to get to freezing (32 degrees -- 0 degrees Celsius), with a north wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Mostly cloudy Thursday night, with lows in the mid 20s (-4 degrees Celsius). North-northwest wind at 2 to 5 mph.

Cloud cover on Friday is a tough call because, just as one large mass of clouds moves out, another will approach. So right now, I think we’ll start the day mostly cloudy, become partly cloudy for a few hours, then become mostly cloudy again. Highs nudge upward into the mid 30s (2 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy Friday night, with lows in the upper 20s (-2 degrees Celsius).

Weekend update

There’s a change to discuss about the weekend forecast. Over the past few days I’ve discussed a weak cold front crossing the area on Saturday, and it appeared that this front would be progressive (not in the political sense -- in meteorological circles, something “progressive” generally is moving steadily across the region or country). In-other-words, it would cross the area late Saturday or Saturday night, and we’d be done with it.

However, every front or storm system has an upper level disturbance associated with it and, now, it appears that another upper level disturbance originating out of the four corners region out west will track across Oklahoma and then turn northeast toward us, eventually phasing with the upper level system associated with the weak front. This will do two things: slow the front, and increase both the duration and amount of our precipitation.

So, I expect a chance of very light rain and/or snow to develop on Saturday, with the precipitation now lingering well into Sunday. A big question is the atmosphere’s thermal profile: will it get cold enough at any point to give us accumulating snow?

That is a very delicate detail that remains to be seen -- one model says yes, the other says no. I hope to be able to resolve this on Friday. Highs Saturday should get to near 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius), and highs Sunday in the upper 30s (3 to 4 degrees Celsius).

Christmas outlook

After a windy and relatively mild day on Festivus (Wednesday), a potent cold front will cross the area Festivus night, and bring us a windy and cold Christmas Eve Day, with a chance of snow showers. Christmas Day itself looks breezy and cold, but should be dry.

Highs Thursday and Friday in the upper 20s (-2 degrees Celsius), with temperatures starting off Christmas Morning in the mid to upper teens (-8 degrees Celsius), with some wind chill as well. Still hoping we can squeeze out a White Christmas -- it’ll all depend upon what happens Thursday with the lake effect snow bands that develop.

Fingers crossed!

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.