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Overnight temperatures in Southeast Michigan dropped below the freezing point for the first time of the fall, the National Weather Service said.

Drivers may have noticed frost on their cars this morning, in what National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Manion referred to as the "first widespread frost event" of fall 2017. Overnight, temperatures fell to the 20s in some parts of Southeast Michigan, including 29 degrees in Ann Arbor and 26 in White Lake Township. Pontiac fell to 30 degrees, and Metro Airport in Romulus fell to 34.

"We've seen a decent dip in temperatures," Manion said. That owes to cold air moving in and clear skies overnight. Cloud cover, Manion explained, can create an effect "almost like a blanket," and warm the atmosphere. Some of the most bitter cold in winter takes place on nights with little or no cloud cover.

The lowest temperatures seen in October, before Wednesday night, was 41 degrees, about two weeks ago, Manion said. 

Temperatures will rebound to the low to mid-50s, due to a pressure system moving into the area from Ohio and Indiana. 

"There should be plenty of sunshine" Thursday, Manion said.

Overnight lows going into Friday should only hit the low to mid-40s, as clouds provide cover.

On Friday, high temperatures could reach the low 60s in Detroit, and the high 50s in northern Metro Detroit, Manion said. 

But that afternoon, there is a "chance for rain showers" and temperatures will plummet to the upper 30s by Saturday morning.

At noon, when the Michigan Wolverines kick off against the Rutgers Scarlet Nights, temperatures are expected to reach only into the mid-40s, which is "pretty typical for late fall," Manion said.

There is a "very slight chance," 10 percent, 20 percent max, of snow showers on Saturday, but even if there were, it's expected to fall very wet and not stick to pavement. At this point in the year, with the ground still relatively warm, "the accumulation rate has to be high for snow to start sticking," Manion said.

Overnight Saturday, temperatures are expected to fall to the mid-to-low 30s.

jdickson@detroitnews.com

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