Metro Detroit weather: Prepare for heavy rain, strong winds

Intense downpours expected overnight

DETROIT – Heavy rain stays with us through Friday morning as strong winds hit their peak.

Overnight washout

The best thing we can say about Thursday night’s forecast is that most of the wet weather will come as we’re sleeping. But that rain will be heavy, coming down at rates of an inch per hour at times.

Those intense periods will be brief, but consistent moderate rain is the other choice. Total accumulation will be between 1 and 1.5 inches by midday Friday when the rain exits for everybody. Don’t be surprised to see a couple of isolated spots reach 2 inches.

We need the rain. A new drought monitor release Thursday shows all of the Metro and South zones now in the “moderate drought” category. Part of the West Zone is included, too. The remainder of the area is listed as “pre-drought” or “abnormally dry.”

Wind will be an issue through the night, with gusts increasing, then peaking during the morning commute. Expect gusts topping 45 mph at times as the low pressure center driving this system moves overhead.

The rest of the day will still be breezy, but gusts will diminish through the day.

Weekend rain

Another round of rain will invade this weekend, but much of it should fall at night, similar to its predecessor. It won’t bring nearly as much rain or wind, thankfully, and we’ll get dry daylight hours for the most part.

The first drops begin Saturday evening and wrap up close to sunrise Sunday.

Slightly mild

Temperatures through the start of next week will be consistently near, but slightly above, normal. We typically see highs in the low 50s for our last week in March. You can see in the 10-day forecast that our next several days won’t be far off that mark.

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