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      Unrelenting cold to remain locked in place

      Although we have turned the calendar, we have not turned our weather any warmer with a very cold start to open up 2014.

      The heart of the cold air over our region Thursday morning was across eastern portions of the Eastern Upper Peninsula with -27F reported at Raber and a -22F temperature at Pickford. Northeast of Sault Ste. Marie across Ontario, temperatures fell as low as -42F Thursday morning. In the Lower Peninsula Pellston fell to -12F with Beaver Island down to -6F. Cheboygan and Indian River both woke up to -5F.

      Even though it remains chilly, Northern Michigan gets a brief respite from the snow for the majority of us Thursday into Friday with breaks developing in the clouds leading to a rare treat, some sunshine. Northeast winds have for the time being pushed lake effect snow offshore into Wisconsin. However, winds will turn more northerly with time Thursday pushing lake effect snow back towards Northern Michigan. I believe two areas that will contend with lake effect snow will be parts of Leelanau/Benzie counties closer to the Lake Michigan shoreline as well as Northern Luce County where a few inches of snow may fall. Still, snow will not be widespread.

      We get a brief warmup Saturday with temperatures shooting well into the 20's although the passage of a cold front will lead to some lighter snow, mainly Saturday morning. Any warming will be a faint memory next week as the next reinforcing shot of bitter cold air plunges in with daytime highs Monday/Tuesday only reaching the single digits with lake effect snow returning.