Metro Detroit weather: Accumulating snow arrives tonight

Some areas to see 2-3 inches of snow accumulation

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

Good Tuesday morning!

Accumulating snow is still on the way as expected, but some of the snow totals have been pared back as computer models shift the approaching system a little farther south.

Today’s sunrise was at 6:44 a.m.

We’ll start Tuesday dry, and don’t be surprised if there are even a couple of breaks of sun this morning. But we’ll cloud up and light rain mixed with wet snow will develop by mid-to-late afternoon.

You can monitor the approaching precipitation yourself on the free Local4Casters weather app’s live radar -- find the links below.

Tuesday highs will be in the low 40s combined with April solar radiation -- yes, even with the clouds -- which means that no snow will accumulate during the daytime hours. Northwest wind will blow at 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday’s sunset is at 8:21 p.m.

Rain changes to snow this evening, which will continue for most of the night -- ending probably around 4 or 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Expected snow totals

At this point, here’s how I see accumulations stacking up: The heaviest amounts of 2 to 3 inches will be across the southern half of Lenawee and Monroe Counties (and perhaps 3 to 4 inches near the state line) into Ontario, with a little nudge of this snow area possibly making it into northeast Monroe County and extreme southeast Wayne County.

From there up through I-696, it looks like the area will perhaps receive 1 to 2 inches, with rapidly dwindling amounts north of there. By the time you get to I-69 and northward, there should be little to no snow accumulation.

It is important to remember that these accumulations are for elevated surfaces, such as decks, patio furniture, barbecues and mailboxes. The pavement will take longer to cool below freezing, so there will be some initial melting there before some accumulation begins. There will not be as much snow accumulation on paved surfaces as there will be on elevated surfaces. However, once the pavement does cool to freezing, wetness on the pavement will freeze into ice before the snow accumulates, so watch out for that.

Overnight freeze

Lows tonight are another problem, dropping below freezing by dawn. As I’ve warned for the past few weeks, early spring warmth causes an early green-up of our vegetation, which can be harmed by subsequent freezes. Accordingly, the National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for Tuesday night.

End-of-the-week warm up

As mentioned earlier, snow will end late Tuesday night, and we’ll become partly cloudy for the day on Wednesday -- except for some scattered snow showers that are possible in the Thumb region. Highs will be in the mid 40s.

It will be mostly clear Wednesday night, and even colder than Tuesday night, with lows in the mid to upper 20s. The freeze warning continues Wednesday night; this is our best chance for damage to vegetation.

It will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy on Thursday, with highs rebounding into the mid 50s. Then, it will be mostly clear Thursday night, with lows in the mid 30s.

Friday will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy, with highs back into the low 60s. Clouds will increase Friday night, with lows in the low 40s.

Weekend outlook

It will be mostly cloudy on Saturday with rain approaching at some point during the afternoon. Some long range models suggest early-to-mid afternoon, while others (including the trusty European model) suggest mid-to-late afternoon. Highs will be near 60 degrees.

Rain is likely Saturday night, with lows near 40 degrees.

Sunday will be mostly cloudy to partly cloudy, but at least a dry day, with highs in the upper 50s.

Remember to download the FREE Local4Casters weather app -- it’s easily one of the best in the nation. Just search your app store under WDIV and it’s right there available for both iPhones and Androids! Or click the appropriate link below.

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.