Rain, then up to 6 inches of snow predicted Thurs.
If the last few days felt like the beginning of spring, perhaps the next 24 hours will bring you back to winter.
The National Weather Service forecasts a storm system arriving in southeast Michigan by dawn Thursday with rain showers that could bring an inch in some spots, especially south of M-59, then 2-3 inches of snow.
By mid-afternoon, as the mercury hovers in the 30s and the front draws in colder air, precipitation turns to snow.
“Right now we’re forecasting 2-3 inches with some higher amounts possible in the northern suburbs where the changeover will happen earlier,” said Steve Considine, a meteorologist at the weather service station in White Lake Township. “There’s a chance we could see some brief periods of high-intensity snowfall that will be able to accumulate despite the fact the temperatures will still be above freezing.”
Other forecasters aren’t as conservative about the projected snowfall. Weather service AccuWeather is calling for a winter weather advisory from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Thursday and 3-6 inches of snow.
The Weather Channel predicts 3-5 inches of snow for Metro Detroit.
The flakes are expected to clear out by early Friday, when the thermometer is set to dip into the upper 20s.
The workweek should end with sunny skies and a high near 38. Saturday’s forecast calls for temperatures topping out around 40.
That’s a marked departure from two consecutive days of unseasonable warmth.
On Wednesday, readings reached 63 at Detroit Metro Airport, a degree shy of the record set in 2016 and 24 degrees above average for the date, weather service data shows. Tuesday’s high also failed to break a record with a high of 60.
The shift isn’t so unusual, Considine said.
“Late February and particularly into March are pretty notorious for fairly drastic temperature swings because we start to transition into the spring season,” he said. “The southern United States starts getting much more warmer weather. However, once you get into the northern latitudes, the arctic air likes to hold on. With the storm track across the northern U.S., it’s pretty typical for the degree of warm air driven by these systems to be springlike, but on the backside, we’re able to draw on that reservoir of cold air.”
Friday: Mostly sunny with a high near 38 degrees and a low of about 24 degrees. Windy with gusts as high as 24 mph during the day.
Saturday: Sunny with a high near 39 degrees and a low of about 23 degrees.
Sunday: Sunny with a high near 40 degrees and a low of about 26 degrees.
Monday: Mostly sunny with a high near 44 degrees and a low of about 34 degrees. Showers likely at night.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Temperatures will reach a high near 45 degrees and a low of about 31 degrees.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Temperatures will reach a high near 41 degrees.
Source: National Weather Service