Colder than average temps to continue

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

White Lake Township — Cover those flowers at night over the next couple of days if you live in southeast Michigan.

That’s the advice of Jordan Dale, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, which issued a widespread freeze warning Sunday for the region from midnight through 8 a.m. Monday. Cool, below-normal temperatures of 33 degrees or colder early Tuesday are expected.

The high Monday is expected to be near 56 with a low of 38.

The high Monday is expected to be near 56 with a low of 38. Normal high temperature for this time of year is 67; normal low is 47 degrees with an average temperature of 57, according to weather service records.

Temperatures in Metro Detroit reached a low of 34 degrees Sunday night/Monday morning, according to the agency. The record cold temperature for the area on May 8 was 30 degrees set in 1976.

According to the National Weather Service forecast, cities expected to be affected include Detroit, Pontiac, Ann Arbor, Warren, Flint, Bay City, Midland, Bad Axe, Saginaw, Caro, Sandusky, Owosso, Lapeer, Port Huron, Howell, Adrian and Monroe.

The freezing temperatures are expected to affect and could kill crops and sensitive vegetation.

By Tuesday, Dale said temperatures are expected to be near 59 with a low of 44 but some communities could see colder temperatures along with the western side of the state and northern Lower Peninsula.

Counties affected outside of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland include Midland, Bay, Huron, Saginaw, Lapeer, St. Clair, Livingston, Washtenaw, Lenawee and Monroe.

Horticulture experts said west Michigan farmers will be watching their crops and taking measures to protect their peach, apple and cherry trees, including installing frost fans, which keep temps above freezing. Some orchard owners in southwest Michigan will be on guard because cold snaps can damage crops that have already blossomed.

Michigan farmers have suffered big losses from spring cold snaps in the past decade. In 2010, they lost tens of millions of dollars in fruit crops.

Erratic weather in 2012 resulted in a 90 percent loss of the state’s apple and tart cherry crops as well an 80 percent loss in the sweet cherry crop. The juice grape and peach crops also suffered substantial losses.

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Extended forecast

-- Monday: Sunny with a high near 57 degrees.

-- Tuesday: Frost before 9 a.m. and increasing clouds with a high near 59 degrees.

-- Wednesday: Mostly sunny with a high near 63 degrees.

-- Thursday: Partly sunny with a high near 64 degrees.

-- Friday: Mostly sunny with a high near 63 degrees.

-- Saturday: Partly sunny with a chance of showers and a high near 63 degrees.

-- Sunday: Partly sunny with a chance of showers and a high near 64 degrees.