Metro Detroit weather forecast: Showers and T-Storms increasing

Plus: Category 5 Hurricane Irma still headed toward Florida

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

As expected, showers and thunderstorms are increasing across the area this afternoon as an upper level disturbance swings across the Great Lakes.  Periodic batches of this rain will move through during at least the first half of the night, with the activity gradually tapering off after that.  Lows in the upper 40s to near 50 degrees (9-10 degrees Celsius).

Most of us will have a partly cloudy, dry day on Friday, but the last piece of energy from that upper level disturbance may trigger a few scattered showers mainly east of I-75.  Highs again in the mid 60s (18 degrees Celsius).

Friday’s sunrise is at 7:06 a.m., and Friday’s sunset is at 7:55 p.m.

Becoming mostly clear Friday night, with lows in the mid to upper 40s (8-9 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny both Saturday and Sunday…spectacular fall weather for tailgating, a round of golf, barbecuing, getting some yardwork done, going to the cider mill, or whatever you have planned.  In fact, the weather looks perfect for the WDIV Fighting Peacock softball team as it plays in our league championship game Saturday!  Wish us luck!  Highs in the mid 60s (19 degrees Celsius) on Saturday, and near 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius) on Sunday.

Sunshine continues into the day on Monday, with highs warming into the mid 70s (23 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny to partly sunny on Tuesday, as some moisture associated with the remnants of Hurricane Irma heads this way from the southeast.  Highs in the mid 70s (24 degrees Celsius).

We may get a few “Irma showers” on Wednesday, but don’t expect anything too dramatic.  Highs in the mid 70s (23 degrees Celsius).

Showers are still possible on Thursday as a cold front swings through.  Highs in the low 70s (21-22 degrees Celsius).

Then we get back to some sunshine and very pleasant weather on Friday into at least the first part of next weekend.

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma continued churning through the Caribbean this afternoon as a catastrophic Category 5 storm with 175 mph sustained winds around its eye, and gusts over 200 mph.  Yes, these winds are down slightly from earlier today but, when you consider the sheer magnitude of these winds, there really isn’t any difference between 185 mph and 175 mph.

LIVE CONTINUOUS COVERAGE: Tracking Hurricane Irma in Florida

Irma continues on a west-northwest track that will take it directly over the Turks and Caicos Islands – if you saw the incredible video of Irma hitting Barbuda and St. Maarten, then you know what will happen in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and some of the far southern Bahama Islands.  Beyond that, the models still take it north of Cuba, and then turn it north into Florida.  The GFS model is identical to yesterday in bringing Irma’s western eyewall very close to the shoreline from Miami through Fort Lauderdale and Pompano up through Delray, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.  However, the European model has shifted slightly eastward from yesterday’s run, and now bring Irma ashore at Florida’s southern tip, and tracks the storm right up the spine of the state, affecting the entire state with hurricane force winds.  Obviously, there are still some very important details to work out, but your take-away message from the Local4Casters right now is that south Florida appears more and more likely to suffer a significant impact from Hurricane Irma.

Since many of you will be forwarding this information to your loved ones and friends in Florida, here are a few important tips:

  1. There is still time to get out.  Conditions will deteriorate rapidly Saturday night into Sunday.
  2. If you are planning on riding out the storm, aside from stocking up on the usual supplies (water…a gallon a day per person…batteries, non-perishable food, personal hygiene supplies, medicine, etc.), keep more cash than normal on hand.  If the power is out, ATMs won’t work, banks won’t be open, and stores won’t be able to process a credit card.  And don’t forget supplies for your pets.
  3. Make sure that you gather important papers and documents…birth certificates, passports, etc., and seal them in Ziploc bags to protect them. 
  4. Do the same thing with cherished photos, heirlooms, etc.
  5. Keep your cell phone on the charger up through the time power goes out…and close all of your apps to help preserve that battery life.  If you have them, make sure that your portable cell-phone battery sticks are charged, too.
  6. If you live in a high-rise building don’t automatically think you’re safe because you live well above the ground.  The wind gets stronger as you go farther aloft, so what may be Category 4 winds at the ground may be Category 5 winds at the level you live at.
  7. Finally, make sure that family or friends not affected by the storm know about your plans, and let them know after the storm passes that you’re okay.

Hurricane Jose

Following behind Hurricane Irma is Hurricane Jose.  While this storm looks highly unlikely to affect the southeast U.S., it may brush the northern Leeward Islands that were just hit by Hurricane Irma.  That would be just unbelievable.  Jose strengthened to Category 2 status with 105 mph winds this afternoon, and it could become a major Category 3 storm before it gets near the Leeward Islands.

Northern Lights update

A strong coronal mass ejection (big eruption on the sun) has accelerated the stream of charged particles that flow from the sun to the earth, and interacts with our planet’s magnetic field.  Experimental forecasts from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center suggest that the aurora borealis (northern lights) may be visible at some point Thursday night over northern Michigan, with a chance that even those of us in the south may get a peek at them.  Remember that aurora are very fickle…we may see them, or we may not.  But if your skies clear tonight, take a look to the north…if you see a greenish glow in the sky (sometimes even red), then that’s them!  

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