Metro Detroit weather: Update on White Christmas chances, holiday travel forecast

Is there a chance for a White Christmas? Yes!

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist

DETROIT - Dreaming of a White Christmas is always an annual tug-of-war because, while we want that nice fresh coat of white, we also want good travel weather.  

Later in this article (see below) we’ll discuss your holiday travel weather and those White Christmas chances, but let’s first start with the immediate forecast.

Skies will clear overnight, and those breezy northwest winds will settle down into the 5 to 10 mph range. This will allow temperatures to drop into the low to mid 20s (-5 to -4 degrees Celsius).  

Tuesday and Wednesday

Expect a ton of sun on Tuesday, with a light and variable wind, too!  Highs in the mid 30s (2 degrees Celsius). 

Tuesday’s sunrise is at 7:57 a.m., and Tuesday’s sunset is at 5:03 p.m.

Mostly clear Tuesday night, with lows in the mid 20s (-3 degrees Celsius).

Mostly sunny on Wednesday, although we’ll probably start seeing some of those high, thin cirrus clouds drifting in during the afternoon. Highs in the low 40s (5 to 6 degrees Celsius) will feel pretty good in that sunshine.

Increasing clouds Wednesday night, with lows in the mid 30s (1 degree Celsius).

Rain, wintry mix Thursday, Friday

Mostly cloudy on Thursday with a few light rain showers possible. Highs in the mid 40s (6 to 7 degrees Celsius).

Rain is likely Thursday night, with lows in the mid 30s (3 degrees Celsius). It will also become windy overnight.

Rain is likely Thursday night, with lows in the mid 30s (3 degrees Celsius).  It will also become windy overnight and, as colder air filters in, some of the rain could transition to wet snow.

Expect rain and wet snow on Friday, but we don’t expect any significant snow impact on the roads. Highs in the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius), and it’s going to become windy.

Christmas Travel Weather

The upcoming weekend will be an especially huge one for Christmas travel, as the weekend falls right before Christmas Eve.  Although Saturday could start with some snow east of Michigan, this weather system will quickly move out, and the rest of the day looks dry around the region…just watch out for some possible lake effect snow bands generally along the eastern part of Lake Erie, and along Lake Ontario.

You can use the maps below to help plan through the holiday weekend:

White Christmas?

The bulk of the day Sunday looks dry around the region.  

We are carefully monitoring a potential weather system for Sunday night that, if this particular model pans out, could give us just enough snow for a White Christmas!  

But before you put any stock into this Christmas miracle, remember that the computer models don’t handle weak weather systems very well this far in advance.  

This will likely change…so stay tuned.  But be aware that, at least based upon today’s maps, there could be some snow around the region Sunday night…that would affect travel, obviously.  

We will keep a very close eye on this.

The bulk of Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Eve looks dry around the region, so that would be great news for those trying to get somewhere right before the holiday begins.

Christmas Day itself looks pretty quiet, with perhaps another weak weather system triggering some festive snowflakes later in the day.  Again, remember our caveat:  the models don’t handle these weak system well a week in advance.  Stay tuned…

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