Metro Detroit weather: Finishing up mild Tuesday

Colder weather returns

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - I hope you had the chance to step outside for a few minutes Tuesday, because after Wednesday, it’s back to reality. As you’ll read later on in this article, my long-range outlook hasn’t changed. Our most significant blast of winter weather is still on the horizon.

Tuesday night won’t be nearly as active as Monday night, when those wind gusts brought down a few limbs and, at one point, 18,000 people were without power. Expect mostly cloudy skies, and perhaps a few light showers crossing the area overnight, with lows in the upper 40s, or 9 degrees Celsius for our Canadian friends across the river. South-southeast winds will blow at 5 to 10 mph.

Cloudy skies will start our Wednesday, but I think we’ll at least get through the morning rush hour mostly dry. Showers increase midday through the afternoon as a cold front approaches. Highs will be in the mid-50s (12-13 degrees Celsius). Winds will become southwest behind the front, at 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday’s sunrise is at 7:42 a.m., and Wednesday’s sunset is at 5:02 p.m.

It will be a cloudy and breezy Wednesday night, with scattered light rain and snow showers possible. Lows will be in the mid-30s (2 degrees Celsius).

It will be cloudy and windy with scattered light rain and snow showers on Thursday. Highs will be in the low 40s (6 degrees Celsius). Thursday night will be cloudy and breezy, with a few snow showers possible. Lows will be in the mid-30s (1 degree Celsius).

Friday will be cloudy, with a light rain or snow shower possible. Highs will be in the low 40s (6 degrees Celsius). It will be cloudy Friday night, with lows in the low 30s (minus 1 to 0 degrees Celsius).

Saturday will be mostly cloudy, with highs in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius).

It will be partly cloudy on Sunday, with highs in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius).

Monday will be partly cloudy, with highs in the mid-40s (6-7 degrees Celsius).

Long-range outlook

My long range computer models continue to advertise our most significant winter blast of the season for next Thursday into Friday. We’ll initially be on the warm side of the storm, with rain likely sometime Tuesday into Wednesday.

Once the storm and its associated cold front blow through, expect sharply colder temperatures and very windy conditions. My only uncertainty is the strength of this system. If you look at the single operational runs of the GFS and ECMWF models, they spin up an extremely powerful system that could potentially produce damaging, high wind gusts for us.

These individual computer models runs a week and a half in advance and can sometimes be way off base. Looking at what we meteorologists call the "ensembles," which are the average of many different runs of slightly different versions of the GFS and ECMWF, I see a different story. With a very weak depiction of the low, but still a significant cold blast behind the system.

It’ll take a few more days before I start getting a handle on this (hopefully). Naturally, I’ll keep you posted. An initial guarded piece of advice is to try to get those Christmas lights up this weekend, because it may be a whole lot nastier next weekend.

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