DETROIT (WWJ) – Metro Detroiters should consider covering sensitive plants with cooler-than-normal temperatures expected overnight.

A Freeze Warning has been issued for the metro Detroit area and beyond, covering Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Midland, Bay, Huron, Saginaw, Tuscola, Sanilac, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer-St. Clair, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.

It’s in effect from midnight Wednesday until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will likely drop at or below the freezing mark overnight, and won’t warm up until sunrise.

This means sensitive vegetation that is not protected may be harmed by frost or cold.

For those who’ve already stocked up on annuals, experts suggest bringing potted plants inside and covering blooming plants left outside with old bed sheets. Try to cover up any roots as well as flowers and use a rock or other heavier item to keep the sheet in place. Plants should stay covered up until well after the sun comes up.

The cold weather Sunday night into Monday morning already did some damage to Michigan fruit that has already bloomed or is  blooming, according to Michigan State University Extension Educator Mark Longstroth.

He says the damage so fat has been spotty, but the crops hurt the most were the juice grapes in southwest Michigan that are used in Welch’s brand juice.

“Some on the vineyards that I was in, about 50 percent of the shoots were killed by the cold,” he told WWJ’s Zahra Huber. “I have an educated eye so I can tell just by looking at the shoot after it’s been thawed out for a couple of hours that it’s not alive that it’s dead. It gets a kind of gray, dehydrated cast to it.”

Longstroth said the shoots can grow back.

Along with the grapes, he said there was light damage to Michigan tree fruits, including apples and cherries.

WWJ AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Bowers says it’ll stay fairly cool pretty in metro Detroit much all week, with no rain expected. There is, however, a little bit of a warm up possible by the weekend.

Know before you go: Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. See the live, local radar now at this link.


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