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The train of rain that hit and the chill we see coming

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Posted at 10:58 PM, Oct 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-18 00:06:22-04

What a difference a few miles can make! This past weekend's rainfall put an end to the dry spell in some parts of metro Detroit, but barely brought a drop to other areas. It ruined some weekend plans and wasn't even a blip in others.

Livingston County, most of Oakland and St. Clair, and most of Macomb county except the far southern parts got a solid 1"-2" rainfall, wiping out the rainfall deficit since September 1, when the dry stretch started. But a sharp dividing line set up, as expected, giving downtown Detroit and Romulus less than 1/4", while Monroe and most of the surrounding county got only drops or no rain at all. 

The weekend was a perfect example of what weather people call "training," when rainmaking storms keep moving over the same areas as if they were following train tracks. In this case, the meteorological railroad tracks were laid down near the border between warm, moist air over us and cool, drier air just to our north. The effect was so pronounced and repetitive southwest of Kalamazoo and in parts of Chicago that they were deluged with 6"-10" of rain, producing serious flooding.

Since the "official" weather recording spot for the Detroit area is Metro Airport in Romulus, and they got very little rain, we're still technically nearly two inches below average rainfall since September 1, but our northern suburbs have moister soil and greener grass that may have to be cut again several times this fall!

Looking ahead, the long range models are pointing toward a much cooler and wetter pattern developing around October 24-28, so this month should get more "chill" before it ends. You might want to take advantage of all the warm sunshine the next few days while you can.