Metro Detroit weather: Chance of severe thunderstorms on Thursday

Temperatures rise into 70s

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - It’s been a beautiful day, with some sunshine and temperatures rising into the 70s except in areas where wind is blowing off the colder waters. While a few showers are possible this afternoon, the main event we’re monitoring will be tonight.

An area of thunderstorms will develop to our west late afternoon into the evening hours, and move southeast across parts of our area between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m -- possibly becoming severe in the process.

It is vitally important to convey that, as of mid-afternoon, these thunderstorms do not exist yet. Where they initiate will then determine how much (if any) of our area gets hit. For example, if they fire up near Muskegon and head southeast, then areas southwest of a line running from Howell to Monroe are at risk. However, let’s say those storms develop a little farther south, perhaps around Kalamazoo.

In that case, most of them would miss us. Unfortunately, our high resolution computer models aren’t handling this scenario consistently.

So the most important message we can provide is that severe storms are a possibility this evening sometime between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., with the highest risk being the farther south and west you are in our area. Make sure that your weather radio is on alert mode, and check the radar often on our free weather app later this afternoon to see where the storms are initiating.

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.

Once the storms move out, we’ll be quiet for the remainder of the night, with lows in the mid 50s (13 degrees Celsius), and a southwest wind shifting to the northwest later tonight at 5 to 10 mph as a cold front crosses the area. This front will become quite important in our weekend weather, as will be discussed below.

Even if Friday (TGIF!) starts out mostly cloudy, we should become at least partly cloudy during the day. Highs will be cooler than today, but still pleasant in the mid to upper 60s (18 to 19 degrees Celsius). North wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Friday’s sunrise is at 6:11 a.m., and Friday’s sunset is at 8:50 p.m.

Becoming cloudy Friday night, with rain potentially developing later at night as the aforementioned cold front, which stopped just south of the state line, begins a return northward. Lows in the upper 40s (9 degrees Celsius).

Weekend forecast

Saturday morning rain will end, and skies should eventually become partly cloudy during the day. Temperatures north of that front will remain in the mid-to-upper 60s (19 to 20 degrees Celsius) Saturday afternoon, but possibly spike warmer if that front passes north of any of us before nightfall.

All I can say at this point is that it had better not rain at the opening of the Farmington Farmers Market (one of our area’s best) in downtown Farmington Saturday morning. I’m emceeing the big event, and let’s just say that it doesn’t look good for it to rain on a meteorologist emceeing an outdoor event.

Saturday night (Date night) still looks dry -- and could even turn out mild for some of us after that front passes by. Farther north in our area, you’ll stay cooler since the front likely will not have reached you yet.

Sunday starts dry and mild (lows Saturday night in the low 60s, 16 degrees Celsius, south of the front) and, as long as that front has made far enough northward progress, many of us will be near 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius) for a high. If the front hangs up across the area, then there conceivably could be a 20 degree temperature spread from south to north in southeast Michigan.

Shower and thunderstorm possibilities ramp up by mid to late Sunday afternoon. Some computer models hold off the rain until very late in the day, thus giving us a pretty nice Sunday. Other models bring in the rain by mid-afternoon. As mentioned above,  just keep an eye on our app’s radar if you have Sunday afternoon plans.

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