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      Brief warm up then bitterly cold early next week

      Following a snowy Christmas Day, we get a little break Friday into Saturday before the coldest temperatures this season plunge in if you can believe it early next week.

      Snow came down quick and in some places heavy, with Petoskey, the Point Iroquois Light Station on Whitefish Bay, and Wellston in Manistee County all picking up more than 8" of snow Christmas Day into early Thursday morning.

      A major concern we had was the river gauge on the Pine River in Chippewa County near Rudyard showed a rapid 9-ft. rise in water levels Wednesday night. This would imply that a historical flood was ongoing along the Pine River and the National Weather Service put out a Flood Warning. However, after further review, and no reports of any flooding, we believe that the gauge itself was impacted by ice giving a faulty reading, so the good news is that warning was cancelled and flooding no longer appear to be an issue there.

      Going forward, snow showers will remain in the forecast Thursday, but will not be as numerous or as heavy as they were on Wednesday. Still, a couple inches remains possible across the northern reaches of the Eastern U.P. and parts of Northwest/Western Lower Michigan. Highs Thursday will climb close to 20F.

      We warm into the 30's Friday and Saturday with dry weather expected for the majority of us. That will be short lived as a cold front will drop in Saturday night with a deep supply of polar air behind it. Highs Sunday will fall into the teens with some snow. Temperatures early next week heading towards the New Year may not climb much above 10F in places kicking of a cold start to 2014.