Bitterly Cold Air Inbound

The cold will get colder next week as jet stream features carry cool air down from Western Canada (Alberta and Saskatchewan). Here is a rough ground estimated temperature from the GFS for Tuesday night. The red/blue lines show their listed temperature value, while the black lines show Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) in millibars.

Cold air plume invading the Midwest from Canada.

Cold air plume invading the Midwest from Canada.

Thankfully, the warm nature of the Great Lakes will shield us Michiganders from the bulk of cold air. Notice how tightly the lines of temperature are packed north of Michigan indicating the strong temperature gradient. Also, directly west of Lake Michigan lies a -5F degree line, where we will stay a good 10 degrees warmer than that with lake shielding. Nonetheless, highs on Tuesday may only reach the mid teens, and the rest of the week struggles to get above 20. Nightly lows will be in the single digits, early morning commuters will be able to count the temperature with their fingers. These bitter temperatures combined with strong winds will make wind chills in the negatives, so bundle up!

As is common with cold air over a warm body of water, the lake effect snow machine will be churning. With this strong cold air mass moving through, shoreline locations will see a good bit of snow. Along the eastern shores of Lake Michigan accumulations will be as much as 6″. Lake effect snow events can vary in short-term, so will keep an eye on where accumulations will trend. (Worthwhile to note Grand Rapids NWS has a Winter Storm Watch out for counties along the Lake Michigan coast. Gaylord NWS also has Watches out for a little clipper coming across this weekend and the additional lake effect snows)


About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

3 Responses to Bitterly Cold Air Inbound

  1. Peyrefitte Jr, Ashton G says:


    Good map of isotherms, although it is a bit biased due to the excessive cold in Canada and warmth over Michigan. Wind really picking up as front has reached west side of Lake Michigan—it’s steaming towards us. I have coffeecake over here if you’re hungry.


  2. Pamela says:

    Thanks for the warning. It sounds like an excellent time for me to be heading south. I think I will hop on board a ship and cruise to Cozumel! If I were you, I would hurry over for some coffee cake before it is gone!

  3. Holmes says:

    Wish you were wrong about this one :)

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