Lake-effect snow and more Arctic air on the way

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The brief warmup West Michigan saw on Wednesday will be just that: brief. We may not see temperatures this warm again for at least two weeks. 

The first in a series of Arctic cold fronts arrives Thursday.

This will increase the wind over Lake Michigan and trigger lake-effect snow. As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory beginning noon Thursday and running through 7 p.m. Friday. Expect the Thursday evening and Friday morning commutes to be adversely affected

Snow amounts will not be particularly heavy, mostly ranging from 3 to 6 inches in the advisory area.

The lake-effect will be a lighter snow than what fell over the weekend, so it should blow around much more as the winds are projected to pick up.

There will be a series of Arctic cold fronts through the course of this week that will keep reinforcing the frigid air.

It appears the cold air will remain steadfast through the first week of February, as indicated by the latest 8-14 day temperature outlook.

The cold later next week to end Janaury has the potential to be brutal. The map below has forecast low temperatures in the -20 range along the Michigan-Indiana state line, where the air is not being modified by Lake Michigan.

If you think that is cold, the wind chill temperatures forecast by the European model for the morning of Jan. 31 is ludicrous. It shows -43 for Kalamazoo and -51 in Chicago!

I’m not saying it’s going to get to those historic levels of cold, but the fact that one of the forecast models even shows it is rather remarkable.

The frigid cold will be accompanied with plenty of lake-effect snow, as well.

The start to winter was relatively snow-free and mild. Then the first wave of Arctic air arrived last weekend, bringing with it the coldest temperatures our region has seen in over a year. It was -9 degrees in Grand Rapids Monday morning, which was the coldest temperature since Dec. 28, 2017.

We did not get to use our shovels much in December, but we are going to make up for that the next few weeks.

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