More heat for area Tuesday, but cool down ahead

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The heat wave that has shattered records across southeast Michigan is forecast to blaze on for at least another day — but by the end of the week, conditions should feel more like late September, weather experts say.

After bottoming out in relatively balmy upper 60s overnight, temperatures on Tuesday could come close to breaking the record high for the date set in 1998: 91.

The National Weather Service then calls for highs reaching the upper 70s on Wednesday as a cold front arrives with relief.

“After that, temperatures will return closer to normal with highs in the upper 60s,” said Jordan Dale, a meteorologist with the NWS station in White Lake Township.

The mercury normally tops out in the low 70s in southeast Michigan this time of year, weather service data shows. From Sept. 21-24, Flint and Saginaw saw record highs in the 90s on four consecutive days, the weather service reported.

And readings at Detroit Metro Airport have been in the upper 80s or higher since last week — pushing the month’s average to about 1.4 degrees above normal, Dale said.

On Saturday, the high soared to 91 — topping the previous record set in 1936. Sunday’s peak of 89 tied the all-time mark notched in 1891.

The thermometer on Monday peaked at 90 — just shy of the record, 93, set in 1891.

“The longest stretches we typically would see with record or near to record highs is usually around seven days,” Dale said. “We’re not quite to that, but is unusual to have that many highs that close to a record.”

The warmth prompted Detroit Public Schools Community District and Pontiac Schools officials to send students home early.

Both districts are slated to have a half-day of school Tuesday, when humidity is predicted along with mostly sunny skies.

The front crossing the region on Wednesday should bring change as early as night, when the low could dip into the 50s.

Metro Detroit is in for more seasonal readings the rest of the week.

Thursday’s forecast calls for a high in the upper 60s and lows around 53.

More of the same is expected Friday, which has a chance of showers in the evening.

Early predictions show the weekend should be mostly sunny with highs around 65, Dale said — a shift typical for early autumn.

“Having temperatures this warm is more unusual, but flipping back to near normal — that’s what we would expect heading into fall,” he said.