MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (1/24/2019) - The dreaded Polar Vortex is coming for Mid-Michigan and bringing some of the coldest air in recent memory.
It’s not our first bout with extreme cold. Temperatures around Michigan were anywhere from -5 to -20 degrees around the region earlier in the week. For most, however, there was not much wind to make it feel colder.
But, the next two rounds moving into Mid-Michigan are going to be a whole new ball game. This time we get the wind with the cold.
Expect the first arctic blast to move in overnight Thursday into Friday and last into the weekend. Temperatures will be in the lower teens for highs during the day and could go slightly below zero by Saturday morning.
Winds will be gusty this time with those cold morning lows. Wind chill values will be between -10 and -25 degrees as a result.
We will warm up just a bit by Monday as our next clipper system moves through, bringing some snow. Just like any storm system that moves through, it too will bring colder air in behind it.
But this blast of polar air will be the main show in a rather hectic period of winter weather affecting the state of Michigan.
There is some variation on timing of the arrival of the coldest air. The American model has it arriving Wednesday morning while the European model has it arriving Thursday morning. Either way, the numbers put out by both sources are about the same.
Low temperatures not including wind chill could easily fall down in the -10 to -20 degree range for some parts of the area with wind chill values as cold as -40 degrees.
Daytime highs, because of strong northwest winds, will struggle to make it out of negative territory. Wind chills will likely remain colder than -20 degrees through most of the day.
The lakes are helping us out, big time. They help moderate the air just a bit by adding some warmth and moisture to the air as it passes over.
Minnesota and Wisconsin, who don’t have the Great Lakes' influence, are expecting to see air temperatures as cold as -30 degrees with wind chill readings as cold as -60 degrees.
Temperatures will reach more seasonable temperatures in the teens and 20s above zero by Groundhog Day on Feb. 2.