Metro Detroit weather: Another nice day before showers, thunderstorms return

Thunderstorms return Wednesday night

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - Wasn’t today gorgeous? Abundant sunshine combined with temperatures reaching the mid 70s (23 to 25 degrees Celsius) made for a spectacular Tuesday.

Skies will remain mostly clear for a while tonight, before some high, thin cirrus clouds stream in from the west (that should set us up for a beautiful sunrise on Wednesday -- post your photos on Storm Pins so we can show them on the air.).

Lows tonight won’t be nearly as chilly as Monday night, and should settle into the mid to upper 50s in most areas (14 degrees Celsius), with a light southeast wind.

Wednesday will start out mostly sunny, as those cirrus clouds let in a lot of sun. It’ll become partly cloudy for the balance of the day, before clouds increase later. The daytime itself should be dry, but a couple of showers could pop up in the evening. Highs in the mid 70s (25 degrees Celsius) will be very pleasant, although we’ll have a southeast wind at 10 to 15 mph keeping things cooler on the eastside near the big lakes.

Wednesday’s sunrise is at 5:56 a.m., and Wednesday’s sunset is at 9:10 p.m.

Showers and thunderstorms will increase Wednesday night, with lows in the mid to upper 50s (14 degrees Celsius).

Showers and a possible morning thunderstorm are likely on Thursday, and it’s not going to be a pretty day as highs only reach the mid 60s (18 degrees Celsius) at best. Wind will also increase in the afternoon, and we think that we’ll have a pretty solid pop of wind by late afternoon or especially evening -- gusts could possibly reach 40 mph.

The computer models differ widely on how much rain we’ll get Wednesday night through Thursday. Some models don’t even give us a half-inch. Other models get us close to an inch. And one model suggests between one and two inches. However much rain we get, we don’t need any more right now.

Rain ends Thursday night, with lows near 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius), and even colder in rural areas away from our Urban Heat Island.

We end the work week with a nice day Friday, as the sun should return and highs rebound back into the mid 70s (24 degrees Celsius).

Weekend update

The computer models are still struggling mightily with the weekend weather pattern. Ben Bailey and I were just discussing this afternoon how this is not a typical summer pattern, and that the models sometimes have a lot of trouble when an unseasonable pattern like this develops. Based upon today’s newest model guidance, here’s how we see the Father’s Day weekend weather shaping up:

Saturday should start dry, but rain chances increase by afternoon. Highs in the mid 70s (24 degrees Celsius).

Showers and thunderstorms are likely Saturday night as a cold front approaches, with lows in the upper 50s (15 degrees Celsius).

Sunday is tricky because, as we saw for much of May, the front’s position (where it stops) is critical. Some models (such as the ECMWF) develop a little wave of low pressure along the front, which would keep it in our area longer.

Other models (such as the GFS) don’t have this wave, and make the front more progressive -- i.e., gives it a steady progression south of the state line. We could wake up with some rain Sunday morning but, with some luck, it may end for the afternoon. As long as that rain ends, highs should reach the upper 70s (26 degrees Celsius).

A Nice (and easy) Heavenly Highlight to see.

This is the month when Jupiter is at “opposition” to Earth. What this means is that you can draw a straight line from the sun to Earth to Jupiter. When this happens, Jupiter is out all night, and very easy to see. It rises in the east in the evening, and sets in the west in the morning.

So if you notice a very bright “star” in the east after dark, or in the west before sunrise, that’s it. If you have a good pair of binoculars and live in a dark area away from city lights, take a look, and look very carefully to see if you see any tiny dots aligned on either side of the giant planet.

If you see those, then you are seeing Jupiter’s Galilean moons (there are four of them, but you might not see them all): Io (pronounced “EYE-oh”), Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Those four are Jupiter’s innermost moons, and each has a very fascinating science story behind it.

For example, Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system, and Europa likely has a giant saltwater ocean beneath its surface, which could be a source of primitive life.

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