Detroit Jazz Festival called off due to weather

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Severe weather silenced the sweet sounds of the Detroit Jazz Festival.

The popular downtown music festival was impacted, like many other outdoor events Monday night, by strong thunderstorms moving through the region.

Organizers said the festival wasn't able to beat the "continuation of dangerous weather in and near downtown Detroit." 

"While every effort was made to delay the remaining acts, the storm became more organized and stronger as time passed and radar indicates it will continue to impact several counties throughout the evening," a festival statement read. "We sincerely apologize for and are intensely disappointed by this situation, but safety will always take precedence."

Sonya Pouncy reluctantly left the festival early after jazz lovers were told to take shelter.

"I'm bummed. I wanted to see Stanley Clarke," Pouncy said of the evening's main stage headliner.

The National Weather Service reported more than a half-inch of rain fell at Detroit Metropolitan Airport during a severe thunderstorm watch Monday evening. 

Disappointed music fans leave the Detroit Jazz Festival early after evening performances were delayed due to inclement weather and lighting in the downtown Detroit area Monday.

The worst of the storms appeared to be over by 7:30 p.m. as the weather service called off the watch, originally set to last until 11 p.m.

“There are a few little generic thunderstorms left, but the severe thunderstorms are over and pushing south toward northwest Ohio,” National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Freitag said. “Much cooler air will be filtering in for the rest of the evening.”

And some parts of Michigan — but not so much in Detroit — did witness hail.

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“There was a little hail from southern Lenawee County, and almost golf-ball size hail reported in Green Oak Township,” Freitag said. “There also were reports of hail in flat Rock and in Detroit itself, nothing of significance, possibly pea-sized hail.”

The reason for the severe weather was a cold front approaching the region that came from west of Detroit, according to the weather service.

Cory Behnke, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said temperatures are expected to continue to drop overnight.

“It is turning much cooler, with a low tonight in the upper 50s,” Behnke said.

Temperatures reached a high of 85 degrees Monday at around 2:56 p.m

And temperatures are expected to remain cooler throughout much of the week.

“The high Tuesday will be in the lower 70s, with highs in the upper 60s on Wednesday,” Behnke said. “There will be noticeably cooler weather behind the cold front for much of the week.

“We’re definitely getting a taste of fall,” he said.