Arctic blast brings coldest temperatures since February

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An arctic blast is gripping West Michigan, bringing the coldest temperatures in Michigan since February.

Afternoon temperatures in the low-mid teens will combine with the brisk winds to kick wind chills down into the -5 to -15 degree range. At this same time last year, we were in the midst of record high temperatures, hitting 61 degrees on Dec. 13 and 59 degrees Dec. 14.

Scattered snow showers will diminish to flurries later Thursday afternoon, with partial sunshine expected in the inland areas>>Closings | Get closing text/email alerts

The blowing snow and icy roads made for some difficult travel conditions on Thursday. The traffic map was lit up with crashes during the morning commute. Around 10 a.m. both directions of I-96 between Nunica and Coopersville was closed due multiple crashes. The highway re-opened just before noon.

Winds will be out of the west at 10-20 mph with some drifting possible, mainly in outlying areas.>>Traffic conditions

Wednesday’s strong wind helped move the modified arctic air mass across the Great Lakes, with wind gusts exceeding 25 mph, especially along the lakeshore.

Ice is already building on the front of the lighthouse. Check out the various webcams here to watch the waves crashing ashore.

It appears we will get a one day break from the arctic air Saturday,  but that is also when the next storm system will be rolling into Michigan. At this point, it appears 6-10 inches of snow will fall Friday night through Saturday. An icy mix is possible near and south of I-94.

More arctic air will arrive Sunday behind the storm system.

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