After rain, record warmth, more showers in Metro area

Tom Greenwood, and Mark Hicks

Unseasonably warm weather is making history, though for those who want a white Christmas, that may not impress.

The warm weather brought thunderstorms Wednesday with high winds that damaged vehicles, two commercial and an industrial building near Lilley and Joy roads in Canton Township about 6:48 p.m., authorities said. The National Weather Service was expected to assess the damage Thursday to determine if a tornado touched down.

There were no watches or warnings when the storm passed, police said.

Detroit Metro Airport saw a high of 58 degrees on Wednesday afternoon — beating the previous record, 56, set in 1893, according to the National Weather Service.

Flint also notched a new record high of 61, said meteorologist Bryan Tilley.

That made Wednesday the 12th day in December to reach temperatures above 50 degrees, breaking the record set in 1982, the weather service said.

Temperatures for the next few days aren’t expected to reach such heights, Tilley said, but “we’re looking at above normal temperatures right through the weekend.”

The average high for this time of year is in the 30s, with lows in the 20s.

The Christmas Eve forecast calls for more unseasonable conditions.

A cold front was set to move through overnight into Thursday along with another chance of rain, the weather service predicts. But that won’t last.

“We’ll dry out by Thursday afternoon,” meteorologist Rachel Kulik said.

Thursday’s high will be in the low 50s with not much of a chance of breaking the record high of 61 set in 1889, the weather service said.

The Christmas Day forecast calls for highs in the 40s. But for those fretting about a snowless holiday, the weather service says Metro Detroit probably was out of the running, anyway.

According to their website: “Usually the chance of a white Christmas across all of southeast Lower Michigan is around 50 percent.”

There’s not much of a chance for snow over the weekend, either. Showers are on tap Saturday, when the thermometer could rise into the upper 40s.

Extended forecast

Wednesday: There is a 60 percent chance of showers and thundershowers. Accumulation expected to be be about 1/10 of an inch. High temperature expected to be in the low 60s.

Wednesday night: There is an 80 percent chance of rain with a low of about 44. There is a chance of winds of 23 to 28 mph with gusts of up to 43 mph.

Thursday: Mostly sunny with a temperature of about 47. Breezy with winds of 11 to 20 with gusts of up to 36 mph.

Thursday night: Cloudy and 33.

Christmas Day: Partly sunny and 43.

Christmas night: Cloudy and 34.

Saturday: There is a 60 percent chance of showers with a high of 47.

Saturday night: Showers and 38.

Sunday: A chance of showers and 41.

Sunday night: Cloudy and 27.