Metro Detroit weather: Tracking another winter storm

DETROIT – Wednesday’s weather scenario played out exactly as expected, with overnight snow roughly around an inch or a little more changing to freezing rain first thing this morning, which then changed to all rain during the morning.

Temperatures Wednesday afternoon peaked in the low 40s (5 to 6 degrees Celsius), and will drop well below freezing into the mid 20s (-3 degrees Celsius), so watch out for icy patches later Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The road crews did a great job salting, so main roads are just wet this afternoon, and that salt will prevent freezing tonight. However, untreated side streets are quite sloppy, and those streets will turn into an icy mess later Wednesday night, so be careful there.

Wednesday’s sunset was at 5:10 p.m. and Thursday’s sunrise is at 8:02 a.m.

Mostly cloudy on the final day of 2020, with highs in the mid 30s (1 degree Celsius) and a generally west wind at 5 to 10 mph. And how good it feels to write “final day of 2020.” Or, as a friend of mine, meteorologist Bree Smith, who works in Nashville, commented on Tuesday: How fitting that next year is Twenty-Twenty-WON. Get it?

Partly to mostly cloudy and still dry on New Year’s Eve. Lows will be in the mid 20s (-3 degrees Celsius).

Storm No. 2 is still scheduled for a Friday arrival. We start the day dry, then snow and freezing rain develop by early afternoon. Temperatures should rise above freezing during the afternoon, thus changing the freezing rain to rain, but there’s one caveat: Some models keep the northern part of our area (north of M-59, and especially north of I-69) near freezing, which could prolong some of the freezing rain. I’ll need to monitor this and update you as I get updated model data.

Temperatures should rise above freezing at some point, but here’s the caveat: Friday’s storm will pass just to our south, which will greatly reduce the amount of warm air headed into Metro Detroit. As such, it’s possible that some areas in the central and/or northern part of the region will still see mostly freezing rain and snow. The computer models just don’t agree as to how far the warm air will get Friday, so we’ll monitor this and provide an update once we receive updated model data. For now, be aware that it could get slightly messy in parts of Metro Detroit Friday afternoon and Friday night.

Temperatures Friday night may fluctuate back closer to freezing, so a mix of snow, freezing rain and rain will persist across the area through the night, and possibly change to some snow showers late at night. The radar on our free Local4Casters weather app will show this nicely; keep an eye on it Friday and Friday evening.

Any lingering snow showers first thing Saturday morning will end and we’ll have mostly cloudy skies the rest of the day. Highs in the upper 30s (4 degrees Celsius).

There’s a change in the Sunday weather to talk about. Although I saw a hint of this change Tuesday, I didn’t have enough confidence in all of the models to change my forecast much, although I did change it from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. More of today’s models are showing an upper level disturbance crossing the state, which could trigger some snow shower activity. Highs in the mid to upper 30s (3 degrees Celsius).

Longer range, I’m starting to see some trends suggesting that we’ll transition to a much colder pattern by mid-January. Stay tuned.

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