Sun now, but bitter cold and snow in Metro Detroit's weekend forecast

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A bright Friday sun can't hide a cold reality: The coldest temperatures of the season will spread across the area tonight and more snow is on the way.

"There's this high pressure system that's drifting through the area and causing all of the sunshine that's going on here," said meteorologist Andrew Arnold, who works for the National Weather Service at its office in White Lake Township. "The clouds that were over the area and coming off the lakes are starting to contract back towards the lakes."

Friday's high is forecast at 26 degrees but temperatures will plummet at night to around 15 degrees in Detroit and into the single digits outside the Motor City, according to meteorologists.

They also predict temperatures will remain either below or at freezing over the weekend and through Wednesday.

The normal average temperature for this time of the year is about 34.6 degrees, according to the agency's data. As of Thursday, the average temperature has been about four degrees lower.

A low pressure system is behind the coming cold snap, Arnold said.

"It's going to kind of rip through the mid-central plains and through the Ohio Valley here," he said. "We're going to be on the northern fringes of that and we'll start getting some snow."

The snow will arrive either late Saturday or early Sunday and linger into early Monday, according to the weather service. It predicts the area could see two to four inches of snow, mainly along and south of Interstate 96 and Interstate 696. Detroit may see more than an inch.

Cold and snow are in the forecast for the weekend in Metro Detroit.

"It'll depend on exactly where you're at," Arnold said. "For Lenawee and Monroe counties, we're keeping an eye on the forecast. They could get several inches.

"For the Detroit metro area, it's going to see one to 2 inches," he said. "The far southern portions, it could be closer to three."

As of Thursday, Detroit has received .95 of an inch of precipitation, according to the agency's statistics. That compares with the average 1.78 inches of precipitation that's normal for the city through Jan. 28.

Extended Forecast

Saturday: Partly sunny; high 30, low 25.

Sunday: Cloudy; high 32, low 23.

Monday: Cloudy; high 31, low 20.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny; high 32, low 18.

Wednesday: Partly sunny; high 33, low 24.

Thursday: Cloudy; high 40.

Source: National Weather Service

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez