Metro Detroit weather: Temperatures plummet as clouds clear Thursday night

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DETROIT – The lake effect snow band that has been over primarily the northern half of the area so far today will gradually drift southward and dissipate as the evening progresses, but until that happens there still could be a short but robust period of snow out there -- check our app’s real-time radar if you’ll be out and about.

We’ll then see partial clearing of the clouds later at night, which will allow temperatures to plummet into the low teens (-11 degrees Celsius) in our Urban Heat Island closer to Detroit, and into the single digits (-14 degrees Celsius) in the typically colder rural areas. Naturally, a west-southwest wind at 7 to 12 mph will put wind chills down near zero (-18 degrees Celsius) by dawn.

This evening’s sunset is at 5:17 p.m., and Friday morning’s sunrise is at 8:02 a.m.

The clearing trend that commences late Thursday night will continue into Friday, which means that lots of sunshine will grace our skies. Or, as Brandon Roux likes to call it, “Free Vitamin D!”

That sunshine sure helps, but it’ll still be a very cold day, with highs only in the low 20s (-5 degrees Celsius), and afternoon wind chills in the low teens (-11 degrees Celsius) due to a west-northwest wind at 7 to 12 mph.

Mostly clear Friday night, with lows again in the single digits to low teens (-14 to -11 degrees Celsius).

Weekend update

It appears that we’ll hold onto that sunshine well into the day on Saturday. After a frigid start, afternoon temperatures will recover to around 30 degrees (-1 degree Celsius)…what a beautiful winter day.

Clouds rapidly increase Saturday night, and I cannot rule out some light rain or a light rain/snow mix, as temperatures rise into the mid-to-upper 30s overnight (3 degrees Celsius).

Most, if not all, of the precipitation should be out of the area by 8:00 a.m. Sunday, so mostly cloudy skies will then become partly cloudy following passage of a cold front.

While that front will scour out the low clouds, it’ll also drop our temperatures, and we’ll fall from the mid-to-upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius) at daybreak into the upper 20s (-2 degrees Celsius) by dinnertime, and it’ll become breezy as well.

Also following this cold front are two more very cold but dry days, much like we’ll experience on Friday.

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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.