DETROIT – Good Wednesday afternoon!
We are in for a wild weather ride the next 48 hours.
We’ll start by rocketing to a nice warm up today -- then it gets windy, rainy and, eventually, snowy.
The wind and the rain
A wind advisory has been issued for all of Metro Detroit from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday. Winds will gust to 40-45 mph at times.
The National Weather Service also issued a flood watch late Wednesday for all of Metro Detroit except for Lapeer, Livingston and Sanilac counties.
Our region is going to warm up into the mid and upper 40s to near 50 degrees, which will melt lingering snow.
Winds will move SSW at 15-30 mph, gusting to 35-45 mph at times. The warming wind will start the snow melt, but that’s only part of the problem.
A line of rain showers will be moving in from the west northwest after 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Scattered light rain is possible from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, but the heavier rain will start after 8 p.m. and will be heaviest after midnight.
Our flood watch starts Wednesday night and will expire Thursday afternoon. We could end up with a half an inch to an inch of rain by Thursday morning and many of our streets may flood. With an excess of water and a frozen ground, the water will seek the path of least resistance -- which is usually our streets. Be careful!
Wednesday’s sunset is at 6:07 p.m.
The National Weather Service has also issued a winter storm watch for all of Metro Detroit on Thursday. Things will become much more complicated and dangerous.
Heavier, steady rain overnight Wednesday will cause some roads to flood by early Thursday, and the rain will keep coming down ahead of a cold front.
The rain will switch to a rain/snow mix Thursday morning, as temps in the low 40s fall through the 30s. That cold front will pass through SE Michigan around 7 a.m.-9 a.m., and there is a risk of freezing rain, as well.
Both ice and accumulating snow will become more likely in the afternoon and evening on Thursday. We should expect a mix of rain and snow until about 10 a.m. Thursday, and then it will become just snow.
The computer model data is still not in alignment with some models (GFS and IBM) forecasting that 6-12 inches of snow will fall during the day Thursday. Other snow models (EURO and NAM) have a much more modest forecast of 3-6 inches of snow falling throughout the day.
We will see lighter snow totals if our temps don’t drop below freezing until the early afternoon, as the snow will struggle to stick and get going.
Though it’s possible we could get more snow, we’re going to follow the EURO and NAM models, and predict that about 3-6 inches of snow will fall by Friday morning.
We expect the heaviest snow showers during the afternoon, and they will become lighter by 8 p.m. Thursday, ending with snow flurries by 4 a.m. Friday.
Friday morning’s commute will be a rough one, even if our road crews stay on pace with the storm: Temps will take a big tumble, creating ice and very slippery travel conditions.
We’ll see subzero wind chills Friday morning. Then some Finally Friday afternoon sunshine will warm us into the low and mid 20s for the start of the Winter Blast in Royal Oak.
The Winter Blast goes all weekend, and the weather is perfect with low 30s on Saturday with sun and clouds, and closer to 40 degrees Sunday with more sunshine.
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