Metro Detroit weather: Challenging holiday weekend forecast with severe storm chances

Severe weather risk looms Saturday

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

Many of us were rocked out of bed by thunderstorms early this morning, but everything fortunately played out as expected.  

Despite there being a lot of severe weather to the west Wednesday night, our storms arrived just before dawn during the coolest, least unstable part of the day.  

So, even though severe thunderstorm warnings were issued as far east as Jackson and Hillsdale Counties, the storms weakened to mostly routine thunderstorms by the time they got to us…we did receive a few reports of downed trees in Monroe County.

The advancing cold front also crossed the area right on schedule early this afternoon, and the anticipated wind gusts – sometimes exceeding 40 mph – followed right on schedule.  

This wind will subside tonight to a 4 to 8 mph west to northwest wind, under mostly clear skies. Lows in the low 50s (11 degrees Celsius) will be common in the heart of the metropolitan area, with upper 40s (9 degrees Celsius) the rule in rural areas.

Friday

We’ll start our Friday (TGIF!) with mostly sunny skies, but clouds will increase during the day.  Highs near 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius) with a light and variable wind.

Friday’s sunrise is at 6:05 a.m., and Friday’s sunset is at 8:56 p.m.

The next batch of showers and thunderstorms arrives late Friday night as the aforementioned cold front reverses direction and comes back north as a warm front, and these storms could drop some hail.  The warmer air moving in will keep lows in the upper 50s (15 degrees Celsius).

Holiday Weekend Update

The Friday night warm front will be well to our north by the start of the day Saturday, so most of the showers and thunderstorms should also be north of us.  That means that we potentially could have a pleasant first half of the day Saturday, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures warming back up to near 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius) in the afternoon.  

However, that front comes right back at us as a cold front Saturday afternoon / evening, and that means there’s a good chance for showers and thunderstorms ahead of it, including another chance for severe storms.  From today’s vantage point, it appears that damaging wind gusts and hail appear to be the primary threats, along with the usual lightning dangers for people enjoying the outdoors.

Make sure that your weather radio is on alert mode, and check the radar often on our free weather app Saturday afternoon to see where the storms are.  

If you are one of the few who doesn’t have our app, just go to the app store and search under “WDIV”…the Local4Casters weather app is right there.  Many, many people have told us that our app is hands down the best weather app available…especially because it’s one of the few that has a lightning tracker.

Showers and storms move out Saturday night, with lows in the low 60s (16 degrees Celsius).

Sunday’s weather is tied directly to how far south that front sinks before stopping again.  That’s critical because little upper level disturbances tracking along the front will trigger periodic batches of showers and thunderstorms.  

It appears that areas north of 8 Mile could stay dry the entire day Sunday.  At least a scattered shower or thunderstorm is possible between 8 Mile and the state line, but keep in mind that you, too, could end up dry if that front sinks just fifty to one hundred miles farther south.  Highs Sunday should reach the mid 70s (25 degrees Celsius).

It appears that the front will sag just a bit farther south on Monday, so all of us should be dry from the morning well into the afternoon.  

However, current indications are that the front will start its next move back to the north late in the day, so a shower of thunderstorm may be possible by evening…it just depends upon the timing of the front’s movement.  But right now, we think move of the day will be dry for most of us!  Obviously, this timing is critical to your holiday barbecues – keep a close eye on our app’s radar!  Highs Monday will once again be in the mid 70s (24 degrees Celsius).
 

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