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Possible rain forecast for Woodward Dream Cruise

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Rain may be in the mix Saturday for the Woodward Dream Cruise, but it likely won’t dampen spirits of its fans for long.

The National Weather Service is predicting a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms the day of the cruise. It also forecasts temperatures may reach the low 80s.

“There’s a pretty deep trough coming out of the central United States and across the Great Lakes,” said Joe Clark, a meteorologist with the agency’s White Lake office. “Our models show it’s slowing down. If that continues, then there’s a chance we’ll stay dry Saturday.”

If it does rain, he added, showers Saturday will likely be spotty across Metro Detroit, with the area’s best bet for steady rain Sunday.

“But there’s plenty of room to hope that Saturday will turn out dry,” Clark said.

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day celebration of classic car culture. It attracts more than 1 million visitors, and more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles.

The cruise covers a 16-mile stretch of Woodward that runs through nine communities, including Berkley, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac and Royal Oak.

If it does rain Saturday, it won’t throw a wet blanket on the fun for those motor heads and nostalgia nuts who show up for the cruise or the dozens of events held in conjunction with it.

“We haven’t changed any of our plans for Saturday,” said John Heiney, executive director of the Birmingham Shopping District. “Weather safety is always important, so we’ll keep an eye out for severe weather.”

The organization is responsible for marketing and promoting the nearly 300 retailers in Birmingham’s shopping district.

One of its annual events is The Birmingham Cruise Event, held the same day as the Woodward Dream Cruise. Organizers host the event, which features 300 classic cars, entertainment and more, on South Old Woodward between Merrill Street and Lincoln.

Heiney said the event had to cope with storms and power outages in the past, but the car show must go on.

“We plan on that again this year,” he said. “It’s pretty much a rain or shine event.”

Woodward Dream Cruise weather

The National Weather Service Office in White Lake has issued the following forecast for the next four days, including Saturday, cruise day:

■Wednesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny with a high near 82. There’s also a chance of rain and storms at night, which will be mostly cloudy with a low around 66 degrees.

■Thursday: Mostly sunny with a high near 83. Thursday night will be partly cloudy with a low around 66.

■Friday: Mostly sunny with a high near 85 and changing to partly cloudy at night with a low around 68.

■Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 83. At night, there’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms. It’ll be mostly cloudy with a low around 64.

Source: National Weather Service