Metro Detroit weather forecast: First the snow, then the cold

Bitter temperatures moving in

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - The Winter Weather Advisory has been extended to 8:00 p.m. for areas south of 8 Mile, as the last band of snow has yet to exit the area.  

Once that snow moves out (by 9:00-10:00 p.m.), it’ll be a cloudy night with partial clearing possible late at night.  The one exception to the dry conditions is that the cold northeast to north winds flowing over Lake Huron will generate some lake effect snow bands.  These bands are typically narrow…you can be getting snow while areas a few miles either side of you are getting nothing…but where they set up could bring another inch or two of snow.  Areas most likely to see some of this are Sanilac and St. Clair Counties, and possibly even extreme eastern Macomb County.  Bitterly cold overnight, with lows near 10 degrees (-12 degrees Celsius) and wind chills down to -5 to -10 degrees (-23 to -21 degrees Celsius) by dawn.

Even if we start our Sunday with some clouds, the trend through the day will be for increasing sunshine. But any sun we get will be purely cosmetic, with highs in the mid teens (-10 degrees Celsius), and wind chills around -10 degrees (-23 degrees Celsius).  Up in the Thumb, those lake effect snow bands will continue, although those will diminish for most Sunday night.

Mostly clear and bitterly cold Sunday night. Lows between zero and -10 (-21 to -18 degrees Celsius).  Fortunately, wind should be light…but even light wind will generate bitter cold wind chills…possibly down to -15 degrees (-26 degrees Celsius).

The holiday, then the next storm

Monday, the Martin Luther King holiday, will be dry, with mostly sunny skies, but highs once again only in the mid teens (-10 degrees Celsius). Any wind at all, of course, will drive wind chills back down to zero (-18 degrees Celsuis) or below.

Tuesday starts dry, but precipitation develops late. At this point, it appears that there may be some light snow arriving in time for the afternoon rush hour and, in fact, two computer models suggest exactly this (but the other one doesn’t, so we’ll ride with those two until something convinces us otherwise over the next couple of days).  That snow will transition (briefly) to some ice, and then to rain…and most of Tuesday night should be rain. This will be a big snow storm for the northern half of the lower peninsula, so the snow dances everybody at the ski resorts up north have been doing are going to work!

Finally, the super long range computer models suggest an air mass equally cold, if not worse than the one coming tomorrow, to invade the Great Lakes next weekend. Winter is here!

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