What may be the coldest stretch of this entire winter season is on the way in beginning midweek into next weekend as a blast of arctic cold spills in.
By contrast, the beginning of the week is actually rather mild and quiet. Low pressure situated over the U.P./Wisconsin border Monday morning will migrate to east of Detroit by Tuesday. Once this passes, winds will turn out of the north-northwest dragging south chillier weather. Snow will become much more likely Tuesday especially near Lake Huron and later Tuesday downwind of Lakes Michigan/Superior. The coldest weather will hold off until Friday into next Saturday.
TEMPERATURES: The warmest day of the week will be Monday with temperatures in the 33-38F range (above freezing for almost all areas). Some cooling Tuesday into the mid/upper-20's, but by Wednesday temperatures will fall into the single digits (U.P.) to teens for the Northern Lower Peninsula. Temperatures will struggle into the teens Thursday but drop back into the single digits/teens for Friday. As a polar airmass slides northeast of the area to start the weekend, we will get a glancing blow from this with the coldest day of this stretch coming Saturday. Parts of the Eastern U.P./far Northern Lower Michigan may remain below zero all day long Saturday! Teens for highs next Sunday.
SNOWFALL: Snow is certainly likely this week with low pressure to our east Tuesday and then lake effect snow kicking in the remainder of the week. However, a few things are working against big-time accumulation. It will actually get so cold later this week that while snow is likely, the colder the air gets, the less moisture the air is able to hold. This will lead to small snowflake sizes (more of a talcum powder snow) limiting accumulation to some degree from what it could be. Still, considering the time of year, only 6% of the Great Lakes are ice covered so there is plenty of open water for lake effect snow. Winds will be out of the NNW which will tend to favor locations along/west of highway US-131 in the Lower Peninsula out to the Lake Michigan shoreline for the bulk of snow accumulation. Tuesday into early Wednesday will be the most optimal time for the "heavier" snowfall. Another spot to watch will be along US-23 along the Lake Huron shoreline with places like Rogers City perhaps picking up 6" of snow by early Wednesday.
GREAT LAKES ICE COVER: As mentioned above, only 6% of the Great Lakes have ice cover currently according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Compare that to the 49% coverage by this time last year and a whopping 78% on this date two years ago.
Today's Record Temperatures