Over the next week, snowstorms will miss us to the west, southwest, southeast and east. We’ll continue to be in a generally cold weather pattern probably through much of the rest of January and we’ll see a few periods of mainly light snow.
The map above shows the snow that will fall from N. Dakota down into Missouri, moving southeast and not east toward Michigan.
Snow will fall on Sunday/Sunday night across much of Kentucky and Tennessee east to the East Coast. The wind will be mainly north-northeast and not coming directly off Lake Michigan for Friday and Saturday.
There will be significant snow from Tennessee to Maine and significant freezing rain from NE Georgia up into Virginia. Travel in these areas will be anywhere from slow to (on gravel roads in the mountains) nearly impossible.
While we miss the significant snow (flurries possible Sunday night/Monday), we do get a slug of cold (but not bitter cold) air. Afternoon temperatures will be mainly in the mid 20s for today (Fri.) and the weekend. So far, this month of January has been averaging 3.2 degrees colder than average. That overall trend is likely to continue. The latest 8-14 day temperature outlook for January 21-27 keeps the Great Lakes and much of the area east of the Rockies colder than average.
Ski conditions look good for this coming weekend. We have a chance of (mainly light) snow next Tuesday. That will be followed by a couple of cold days (daytime temps. mid-upper teens?) for Wednesday and Thursday of next week along with lake-effect snow showers. The wind will be more northwest for the middle of next week, which should keep the more significant snow showers in the lakeshore counties and perhaps inland into W. Kalamazoo and Cass Counties (and N. Indiana).
With the long-range looking consistently chilly, the thought crossed by mind that it’s not impossible that we could go through the entire month of January without the temperature reaching 40 degrees. That happens once in a while. In fact, we had a March without a 40-degree temperature. I don’t have all the climate records at home, but I think it was either 1956 or 1965 and I’m leaning toward ’65. It was one of the years with the big tornadoes in early April. Both of those years we were cold in spring.
Here’s a surface weather map from 4 am Friday (from College of Du Page). The temperature is in the uppper left of each station plot in red color. We have north winds and you can see the colder air as you go north. 4 am temperature: Benton Harbor 34, Grand Rapids 30, Big Rapids 22, Cadillac 16, Harbor Springs 8, Mackinac Island +1, S. Ste. Marie -6 and north of S. Ste. Marie and not plotted on this map, Chapleau, Ontario is -25F. So this is a pretty good slug of cold air coming down. With the wind coming from the north or north-northeast, any lake-effect snow would be in SE Wisconsin, NE Illinois and NW Indiana.