Metro Detroit weather: Accumulating snow arrives tonight

Winter Weather Advisory issued for all of S.E. Michigan

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist
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DETROIT - We’re trading Arctic air for milder air, but the transition will come at a cost. Snow is on the way. We’re fine for our evening plans, so there are no worries about running errands after dinner, but the first batch of snow should move in from west to east after 10 p.m.

There will then be a break, followed by a second batch of snow. Needless to say, the morning rush hour will be impacted.

The heaviest accumulations will be farther north, and the lightest amounts will be near the state line (details below).

Temperatures will be steady Monday evening before rising Monday night to near freezing (32°F / 0°C). A south-southeast wind will blow at 10 to 15 mph.

Morning snow will gradually change to rain by midday, with rain showers increasing during the afternoon. Temperatures will gradually rise all day, with highs near 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius) occurring in the evening.

One concern I have is the moisture from snow already on the ground melting, which, in addition to the falling rain, will amount to around three-quarters of an inch of liquid. Since the ground is frozen, all of this water will run off, so watch out for puddling, ponding and some scattered flood issues Tuesday afternoon and evening.

To help get around these issues, you can clear snow (and any debris) from storm drains on Tuesday. That will allow the drains to take in some of that excess water. It’s also going to be a very windy day, with continuous winds blowing from the south at 20 to 30 mph, with higher gusts.

Here are some maps to help you plan. The first set shows you the timing for our snow and rain, and the second set is my 4ZONE forecast for snow amounts tonight into Tuesday morning.

Tuesday’s sunrise is at 8:01 a.m., and Tuesday’s sunset is at 5:21 p.m.

Rain showers end Tuesday night after a weak cold front crosses the area. Lows will be in the mid-30s (1 degree Celsius).

It will be mostly cloudy on Wednesday, with a chance of rain showers later in the day. Highs will be in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius).

Rain showers are likely Wednesday night into Thursday, with lows Wednesday night near 40 degrees (4 to 5 degrees Celsius), and highs Thursday in the mid-40s (7 to 8 degrees Celsius).

Friday will be mostly cloudy and colder, with highs in the upper 20s (minus 2 degrees Celsius).

The weekend forecast is very, very difficult due to uncertainty with the proximity to a front just south of us. Some models suggest a dry Saturday, while others have snow developing.

Sunday could be a mix of both snow and rain. It would be irresponsible of me to try to give you specifics when I have such low confidence in how the models are handling things. Obviously, this is opening weekend for the North American International Auto Show, so I’ll keep a close eye on the developing pattern and update you through the week.

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