Metro Detroit weather: Accumulating snow on the way

Monday highs to reach near 60 degrees

DETROITGood Monday morning!

Today’s sunrise was at 6:46 a.m.

A cold front -- the front edge of a much colder air mass – will approach our area later today. Ahead of the front, morning sunshine will boost temperatures to near 60 degrees by noon. Temperatures will start dropping across the western part of our area during the afternoon, while reaching the low to mid 60s in the east. Scattered light rain showers will also develop this afternoon ahead of the front. Southwest wind at 10 to 20 mph will shift to the west after the front passes by.

Monday’s sunset is at 8:20 p.m.

Showers will end after the frontal passage, so we’ll be dry Monday night, and temperatures drop into the mid 30 by Tuesday morning. Northwest winds will blow at 5 to 10 mph.

Here comes the snow

We start our Tuesday dry, then light rain and possibly some wet snow will develop during the afternoon. Highs will only reach the low to mid 40s.

Solar radiation (even with the clouds) will prevent snow accumulation during the daylight hours on Tuesday. However, once we lose that radiation and temperatures cool Tuesday night, we’ll see a changeover to all snow, and it could become moderate to heavy at times. Keep in mind that snow accumulation will occur very quickly on the grass and elevated surfaces, such as decks, patio furniture, and barbecues, but will initially melt on pavement since the surface temperature is well above freezing. Over time, snow will cool the pavement and a slushy accumulation will begin there.

There are still some important differences in the computer models, but I think I have a reasonable handle on how this will play out: The heaviest snow will fall across the southeastern half of the area, with between 3 and 5 inches of snow expected on elevated surfaces. We won’t see as much on the pavement, but it’ll still be messy driving later Tuesday night. The northwestern part of the area will see snow amounts drop off rapidly the farther northwest you go, with areas from Sanilac County through Lansing getting very little snow.

Another important part of the Tuesday night forecast is that low temperatures will drop to near 30 degrees. As I warned several weeks ago, early spring warmth may feel nice, but it gets the growing season started too early, which can be negatively impacted by later freezes. And that’s what we’ll get Tuesday night and Wednesday night.

Warming up again

Wednesday itself will start mostly cloudy, then become partly cloudy with highs in the mid 40s. It will be mostly clear Wednesday night, with lows in the mid to upper 20s.

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy on Thursday, with highs in the low to mid 50s. It will be mostly clear Thursday night, with lows in the mid 30s.

Then on Friday, it will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy, with highs in the low 60s.

Weekend outlook

Saturday will start dry, then rain will potentially develop during the afternoon. Highs will be near 60 degrees.

It will become partly cloudy on Sunday, with highs near 60 degrees.

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