Metro Detroit weather: First of two cold fronts approaching

Light snow showers possible Tuesday night

The Michigan weather radar on Dec. 20, 2021. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The sunshine sure helped Monday. Granted, it was breezy out there, but I’ll take winter-time sunshine over anything else.

Clouds will increase Monday evening as a cold front crosses the area. Remember that no two cold fronts are created equal, and this particular cold front is starved of moisture. So don’t expect any snow as this front comes through. In fact, once it’s to our east, the clouds will start breaking up and we’ll probably be partly cloudy by the time we wake up Tuesday morning.

Temps will drop slowly at first ahead of the front, and then more sharply into the mid-20s (-4 degrees Celsius) behind the front. Wind will swing around from the southwest all the way to the northeast by dawn, and diminish to 5 to 10 mph.

Monday’s sunset is at 5:04 p.m., and Tuesday’s sunrise is at 7:59 a.m.


We’ll start our Tuesday partly cloudy, but then see the clouds increase. Regardless, highs should reach the upper 30s (3 to 4 degrees Celsius), which is still a little above average, with 7 to 12 mph northeast winds shifting to the south by the end of the day.

More notable is that Tuesday is the Winter Solstice, which marks the astronomical start of winter. The solstice marks the point where Earth’s Northern Hemisphere is tilted farthest away from the sun, so the sun’s position in the sky is at our lowest point of the entire year. The solstice officially occurs at 10:58 a.m., so if there’s still any sunshine left before the clouds increase, make a mental note of where the sun is in the sky, and then compare that to where it’s at on the day of the summer solstice six months from now!

Mostly cloudy Tuesday night, with a few light snow showers possible as a second cold front passes by. Lows in the mid-20s (-4 degrees Celsius).

Rest of workweek

Partly cloudy, breezy and cooler Wednesday, with highs in the low 30s (0 degrees Celsius). By the way, I’m still wondering why zero degrees is plural. One degree is singular, and zero is less than one and not a multiple of one (meaning plural). Geez, the stuff I think about.

Partly cloudy Wednesday night, with lows in the low 20s (-5 degrees Celsius).

Thursday brings a warm front, and some computer models suggest a stripe of light snow preceding the front. We’ll see how the high-resolution models portray this scenario over the next couple of days. But just be aware of the chance for some light snow.

Highs in the upper 30s (3 to 4 degrees Celsius). Happy Festivus! Good luck with your Feats of Strength! (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, Google the Seinfeld “Festivus” episode.)

Mostly cloudy Thursday night, with lows in the low 30s (-1 to 0 degrees Celsius).

Mostly cloudy Friday, with rain developing sometime during the afternoon. Highs in the mid- to upper 40s (8 to 9 degrees Celsius).

It appears that we’ll unfortunately have a rainy Christmas Eve, but the rain will end later at night after a cold front swings by. Lows in the mid-30s (1 to 2 degrees Celsius).

Weekend forecast

Merry Christmas! Christmas Day appears dry, although it’ll be breezy, with highs near 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius).

It remains dry Christmas night and for the start of Kwanzaa on Sunday, with highs near 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius).

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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.

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