Metro Detroit weather: Spring begins with rain, snow showers to end week

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

This afternoon is the big moment: spring officially beings at 5:58 p.m., which is the moment that the sun passes directly over the equator on its march from over the southern hemisphere to over the northern hemisphere.  

There are all sorts of scientific quirks about the vernal equinox that you probably don’t know about -- you can read all about them here in this special article.

There’s an old saying that “April showers bring May flowers.” But March showers normally just bring misery, since it’s typically a pretty chilly rain, and that’s no exception this afternoon, as rain moved in right on schedule, with temperatures dropping into the low to mid 40s (5 to 6 degrees Celsius), and even only the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius) in parts of our West Zone.  

Tonight

Rain will taper off later tonight, with temperatures only dropping a few degrees into the mid to upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius) by dawn. Light south wind becoming northwest, late.

Thursday

Even if there are a couple of lingering showers first thing Thursday morning (best chance is our North Zone), those should move out pretty quick, with partly cloudy skies developing.  Highs in the upper 40s (8 degrees Celsius).  Northwest wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday’s sunrise is at 7:35 a.m., and Thursday’s sunset is at 7:46 p.m.

After a period of partly cloudy skies Thursday evening, clouds increase and we then have a chance of some snow showers as a strong upper level disturbance dives southeastward across the state.  Lows in the low to mid 30s (0 to 1 degree Celsius).

Friday

A lingering snow shower is possible first thing Friday morning before that disturbance moves away from us, then skies become partly cloudy by afternoon.  It’s going to be a cold, raw air mass moving in behind that disturbance, however, with highs barely near 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius), and a brisk breeze keeping wind chills in the 20s (-5 to -3 degrees Celsius).

Becoming mostly clear Friday night, with lows in the low 20s (-5 degrees Celsius).

Weekend

Saturday will feature a ton of sun…what a great day.  Highs in the low to mid 40s (6 degrees Celsius) may not be as warm as you’d like, but remember that it’ll still feel pretty good with the late-March sun angle.  

Mostly clear Saturday evening – our date night plans look fine – with temperatures falling through the 30s (1 to 4 degrees Celsius).  Overnight lows will fall to near 30 degrees (-1 degree Celsius).

Mostly sunny to start on Sunday, with some cloud cover increasing during the afternoon (especially South Zone).  As discussed yesterday, the computer models are trying to get a handle on the timing of our next cold front and, right now, it continues to look as if we’ll remain dry during the daytime hours, with highs in the low 50s (11 degrees Celsius).

Scattered light rain and/or snow showers are possible Sunday night, with lows in the low 30s (0 degrees Celsius).

Next week

Two of the long range computer models (ECMWF and GEM) have most of the rain and snow showers out of the area by dawn Monday, but one model (GFS) keeps it around in the morning.  Regardless, it’ll be a breezy and cold day with highs only near 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Tuesday, with highs in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny on Wednesday…this looks like a splendid day, with highs in the upper 40s (9 degrees Celsius).

Partly cloudy on Thursday with a possible shower…there’s a lot of uncertainty here…and highs in the mid 50s (12 degrees Celsius).

We have a better chance of showers and thunderstorms on Friday, with highs in the mid to upper 50s (14 degrees Celsius).

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