The heart of the cold: frigid temperatures cover Northern Michigan

Low temperatures dipped to -22 along the St. Mary's River in Chippewa County

The combination of lake effect snow and bitter cold has left nearly 80 schools across our viewing area closed for the day Tuesday.

The heart of the coldest air will be over us today before slowly loosening its grip on the region as we head into the latter part of the week. The coldest spot we could dig up Tuesday morning was Raber in Chippewa County which checked in with a -22F temperature along the St. Mary's River. As of 8 a.m., Sault Ste. Marie was down to -13F.

Temperatures Tuesday will be the coldest of the week with highs ranging from -2F at Sault Ste. Marie to +8F at Ludington with the rest of Northern Michigan somewhere in-between there. However, the combination of temperature and NW winds at 10-15 mph will lead to wind chill readings of -10F to -25F. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Gaylord tells me that the last time it was this cold was from January 22-24th of 2011, almost exactly two years ago.

While those living outside of the typical lake effect snowbelts have only seen a couple inches of snow at most, those in the snow prone regions have seen a foot or more of snow since Sunday morning including places like Mancelona, Bellaire, and Central Lake along with spots along the Lake Superior shoreline northwest of Newberry in the Upper Peninsula. Even Leelanau County has been dumped on with 9" of snow reported by a viewer of ours a little south of Suttons Bay.

Lake snows will continue to impact the snowbelts but the coverage will dwindle by Thursday morning to only a few flurries. A moderation of temperatures will also occur with highs Friday back to near 20F and by next Monday crossing the 30F threshold. One other quick note, we are expecting some "accumulating" system snow Friday with indications of 3-6" possible then.