Forecast: Record cold Tuesday night in metro Detroit

By Paul Gross, Local 4 Meteorologist, @PaulGrossLocal4
Published On: Mar 25 2014 06:39:27 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 25 2014 06:47:07 PM EDT

A record cold is expected Tuesday night, but spring will push its way in by week's end.

DETROIT -

We are now transitioning to the type of weather pattern where we’ll see storm systems crossing the Great Lakes every two-to-three days, so get ready for an active weather ride and, consequently, a big change to the Saturday forecast that you need to know about.

Details below, but first let’s start with tonight, which will feature a quick end to today’s scattered snow showers and clearing skies. Temperatures will drop to record or near-record lows around 10 degrees. Northwest wind at 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday forecast:

Mostly sunny on your Wednesday, although we’ll probably start seeing more clouds approach by mid to late afternoon. Highs only in the mid to upper 20s. West to southwest wind at 5 to 10 mph. Increasing clouds Wednesday night, with lows in the mid 20s.

Thursday forecast:

Rain develops Thursday, possibly starting as some snow. However, any snow we do get will change over to rain as warmer air streams into the area. Highs near 40. One thing I do need to watch on Thursday is the difference between our temperature and dewpoint temperature. The closer together they are, the more humid the air is (if they are the same, then the humidity is 100 percent), and the farther apart they are, the drier the air is. If the very dry air over us on Wednesday is slow to be pushed out on Thursday, then the rain that initially falls starts to evaporate, cools the air, and then creates or prolongs any snow that develops (that’s why you feel cold when you step out of the shower as the water evaporates from your skin).

We actually saw this once during the winter -- remember that day when we were supposed to start with freezing rain, but the ice moving our way headed into dry air and all of a sudden we had a heavy burst of snow develop right over the metro area? I’m not saying that it’s going to happen again, I’m just saying that we need to keep an eye on this. Rain likely Thursday night, with near steady temperatures in the upper 30s to near 40.

Friday forecast:

Rain diminishes by late Friday morning, with some sun developing during the afternoon. Highs in the mid to upper 40s. Partly cloudy Friday night, with lows in the upper 20s to near 30.

**CHANGE TO THE SATURDAY FORECAST**

Today's computer models are now bringing a secondary storm up into the Great Lakes following the Thursday/Friday storm. This storm, however, will pass south of the state, which puts us in a colder airmass (the first storm will pass us to our west and north, putting us on the warmer side). The models differ right now on just how far south it'll be: if it's far enough south, we'll be in enough cold air to get a few inches of snow; too far south means the precip mostly misses us; and farther north means we get into some warmer air and some of us get rain while others to the north get snow.

I'll keep a close eye on this storm and update you here and on Twitter (follow me at @PaulGrossLocal4). And by the way, since I’m being bombarded with tweets and e-mails about the seasonal snow record that we’re so close to, I’ll mention it one more time: ALL snow from our first snow in the fall to our last snow in the spring count toward our seasonal snow records. So, even though it’s technically spring, our spring snow counts, too.

Sunday forecast:

Mostly sunny on Sunday -- a great early spring day with highs near 47.

Opening Day forecast:

Opening Day is still a close call, as some showers are possible (but there's still enough uncertainty to hold out hope). On the bright side, Monday will also be the warmest of the next seven days, with highs reaching the mid 50s. Go Tigers!

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