Severe weather threat tonight in Metro Detroit with high winds, tornado possible: What to expect

And then a heat wave arrives

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All’s quiet on this Monday afternoon, but that’s going to change dramatically this evening.

A batch of storms (not the big batch you currently see on the Local4Casters weather app if you are reading this Monday afternoon) will develop in Wisconsin and then race southeastward across lower Michigan. The high-resolution computer models are doing a terrible job handling the details (and we need those details), but from what I’ve been able to glean is that we’ll see one or two batches of storms this evening, and either – or both – could be severe.

UPDATED FORECAST: Severe weather focus turns to overnight hours in Metro Detroit

Severe storm risk

In terms of risk, the greatest risk is roughly south of a line from the southern tip of Grosse Ile to Ann Arbor to Hamburg in southern Livingston County – the Storm Prediction Center has this area in an Enhanced Risk for severe weather (that’s a level 3 on the 1 to 5 scale). A small portion of Southern Michigan, including part of Lenawee County, are in the High Risk category, a level 4.

North of that line, roughly from the rest of Livingston County across northeast Washtenaw County, the southwest half of Oakland County, southwest Macomb County and most of Wayne County, we are covered by a Slight Risk for severe weather (level 2 on the 1 to 5 scale).

North of that area is a Marginal Risk for severe weather that extends into southern Sanilac County.

More: Severe weather in Michigan: What each risk level means

So as you can see, the farther southwest you are in our area, the greater the risk for severe storms this evening but, keep in mind as I mentioned above, that the models are doing having a rough time handling this…the area(s) of greatest risk could change.

Biggest threats and timing

Regardless of WHERE it occurs, all modes of severe weather are possible with these storms: damaging wind gusts, large hail, and even the risk for a tornado. Torrential rain that could drop in excess of one inch in some areas, along with near continuous lightning will also be hazards.

That first batch of storms could be in the area around 10 p.m. and could impact the back half of the Tigers game. The second batch could arrive later, around 1 a.m. or later.

Whatever storms we get should be out of the area by 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, and the rest of the night should be relatively quiet, with lows in the mid-60s (18 degrees Celsius) and a light east wind developing.

This evening’s sunset is at 9:11 p.m., and Tuesday morning’s sunrise is at 5:56 a.m.…our earliest sunrise of the entire year!

Rest of the week

There’s a slight chance for a shower Tuesday morning, but I think most of us will have a dry day with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 80s (30 degrees Celsius). Southeast wind at 5 to 10 mph.

A warm front (perhaps I should call it a hot front) will cross the area and usher in a very hot, potentially record-setting air mass, starting Tuesday night, where temperatures will only drop into the low-to-mid-70s (21 to 23 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny on Wednesday, and very hot and humid. Near-record high temperatures will reach the mid-to-upper-90s (36 degrees Celsius), with the humidity making it feel like 100 to 105 degrees in many areas (38 to 41 degrees Celsius). My friends at the National Weather Service have just issued an Excessive Heat Watch for Wednesday generally for areas south of M-59.

Mostly clear Wednesday night, and very warm and muggy, with lows only in the mid-70s (23 to 24 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Thursday with a couple of pop-up thunderstorms possible. Highs in the low-to-mid-90s (33 to 34 degrees Celsius).

A shower or thunderstorm is possible Thursday night as a cold front moves through. Lows in the upper-60s (20 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy, cooler and less humid on Friday, with highs in the mid-80s (29 degrees Celsius).

Mostly clear Friday night, with lows in the upper-50s (14 to 15 degrees Celsius).

Weekend outlook

Mostly sunny on Saturday, and perhaps a bit breezy, with highs in the upper-70s (26 degrees Celsius)…what a spectacular weekend day.

Mostly sunny to start on Sunday, then becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon as an upper-level disturbance swings by. Some models try to spit out a stray shower with that disturbance, but I think the atmosphere will be too dry for that…stay tuned. Highs Sunday warm back into the low-80s (27 to 28 degrees Celsius).

Track live radar in the video player below:


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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.