Metro Detroit weather: Some wind, some flakes, and more Arctic air on the way

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DETROIT – As expected, southwesterly breezes have pushed temperatures well into the 20s (-3 degrees Celsius) today, but that same wind that warmed us up is also making it feel colder.

An approaching Arctic cold front will trigger some evening snow showers, but accumulation (if any) should be minimal, perhaps a few tenths of an inch in some spots.

However, some high-resolution computer models develop a robust lake effect snow band over Lake Huron that could impact some of our shoreline communities once the cold front comes through.

It looks as if it will be a narrow band and, if it remains nearly stationary, those unlucky (or lucky) enough to be under it could pick up three to five inches of snow. Again, there is some uncertainty on exactly where it’ll be set up, but one model I’ve been looking at this afternoon suggests that it’ll be in the vicinity of Port Sanilac.

The rest of us won’t see much after the cold front passes, with lows by dawn in the upper single digits (-13 degrees Celsius) and wind chills near zero (-18 degrees Celsius).

This evening’s sunset is at 5:41 p.m., and Friday morning’s sunrise is at 7:50 a.m.


Our Finally Friday should end up mostly cloudy overall, with the lake effect snow band still active in the eastern Thumb. Highs in the upper teens (-8 degrees Celsius), and a north wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Skies gradually clear Friday night, combined with light wind and the fresh snowpack, will again allow temperatures to crater. We should be near zero (-18 degrees Celsius) by dawn, with our typically colder rural areas even colder.

Weekend forecast

Saturday will be another frigid day, albeit with plenty of sunshine. Highs in the upper teens (-8 degrees Celsius).

Clouds increase late in the day into Saturday evening. Our Saturday evening plans look dry unless you are out late, as a band of light snow will probably cross the area around midnight. It’s not that big of a deal; we’ll perhaps get a light dusting out of it, but any accumulation of snow on a Saturday night means that there will be some crashes due to that and drinking and driving. This past New Year’s Eve, I lost a dear friend when a drunk driver hit her car head-on. Don’t be that driver.

Lows Saturday night will be warmer due to the clouds and some milder air coming in, perhaps making it into the low to mid-teens (-11 degrees Celsius).

Sunday looks cloudy with some flurries or a few light snow showers – no accumulation – and highs in the mid-20s (-3 degrees Celsius).

Next week

The much-anticipated warm-up next week is still on track, with highs Monday near 30 degrees (-1 degree Celsius) under partly cloudy skies – this will undoubtedly be the nicest day of next week.

Tuesday, we approach 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius), but with some rain showers possible.

A reasonably impactful storm still appears to develop midweek and impact us in the Wednesday / Thursday timeframe. As I’ve explained many times in the past, the smallest details are sometimes the most important, but they are also not handled consistently by the computer models this far in advance.

Just be aware at this point that all types of precipitation remain possible: rain, ice, and snow. And even if this ends up being mostly rain, it could be over an inch of rain falling on a frozen surface that cannot absorb water like the ground can in the summer, so that flooding would be possible in this scenario. I’ll keep a close eye on things and keep you updated on Local 4, on, and the Local4Casters weather app.

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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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