Christmas forecast: Ho ho hum

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

The first day of winter may start at 11:28 a.m. Thursday, but only the temperature will feel like it around Metro Detroit.

"In terms of temperature, yes, it'll look like winter," said Alex Manion, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. "In terms of precipitation, no."

At the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, 14 full-size Christmas trees -- including this newly decorated 12-foot ombre style tree in the gallery -- are in place. Ford House Holiday Tours run through Jan. 7.

Thursday's forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with a high temperature in the mid-30s, he said. High temperatures are usually in the mid-30s this time of year, he added.

The low Thursday will be about 31 degrees, according to the weather service.

After midnight, there's a slight chance for a wintry mix of snow, Manion said.

The 2017 winter solstice will occur at 11:28 a.m. Thursday, the exact moment when the North Pole is tilted the farthest from the sun while the South Pole tilted the most towards it.

The tilting will result in the shortest day and longest night of the year for the hemisphere. In Michigan, that means about nine hours and four minutes of daylight.

Heading into the weekend, Manion said, there doesn't appear to be any surprises in the forecast.

The best chance for snow is the day before Christmas on Sunday.

"We're looking at a 40-50 percent chance of snow showers during the afternoon and evening hours," Manion said. "There's still a little bit of uncertainty with the system moving in. If we do see snow, it'll be anywhere from a trace to a maximum of a couple of inches."

On Monday, Christmas Day, the area will be mostly cloudy with a high of 22 degrees, he said.

"There's also a slight chance to see some lake effect snow throughout the day as we see cooler, westerly winds move into the region."

Extended forecast

Friday: Patchy rain showers, snow showers and freezing drizzle before 1 p.m. and a high of 38 degrees with a low of about 30 degrees.

Saturday: A chance of snow showers before 8 a.m. and a high near 36 degrees with a low of about 21 degrees.

Sunday: A chance of snow showers after 2 p.m and a high near 27 degrees and a low of about 18 degrees.

Christmas Day: A chance of snow showers before 8 a.m. and a high near 22 degrees and a low of about 11 degrees.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a high near 18 degrees and a low of about 10 degrees.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers and a high near 21 degrees.