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Dangerous Cold Today

Very cold arctic air, lake effect snow, and dangerously cold wind chills will continue through midweek.

Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories are in place across a large majority of our coverage area today.

Very cold arctic air has moved into the region through the day yesterday plunging temperatures into the teens, single digits, and even the negative single digits, across the region. Continued breezy/gusty winds 5-15mph with gusts up to 25mph are resulting in very cold, dangerously low wind chills as low as 30 degrees below zero across some of our southern and southeastern counties.

In these kinds of conditions, cold-related health effects, such as frostbite and hypothermia, can occur in as little as 30 minutes if appropriate action is not taken to protect skin and body temperature is not maintained appropriately.

Our school closing outlook verified very well and probably even over-performed with many of the region's schools who were scheduled to be open today now being closed because of the extreme cold.

Winter Weather Advisories for Kent and lakeshore counties continue to highlight the risk for travel impacts and additional lake effect snow accumulation of 2-6 inches.


Previous Discussion (Issued at 8:06am EST 01/14/2024):

Continuing travel impacts this morning across west-central and central lower Michigan, especially in central Kent and central Ottawa extending into Ionia counties, as well as, in central Muskegon county extending into northern Kent and southern Newaygo and Montcalm counties as lake effect snow bands continue to dump heavy lake effect snow and reduce visibilities!

However, travel and road conditions will finally begin to improve today, especially after the lunch hour!

Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories expire at noon today. Wind Chill Advisories remain in effect for the southern and southeastern portions of our coverage area until noon tomorrow.

After the aforementioned lake effect snow bands that are currently impacting the areas along M-46 and I-96 move out of the area this afternoon and travel/road conditions begin to improve our attention will quickly shift to the new threat that we've been forecasting for several days now; arctic cold.

We're expecting wind chill values to plunge well into the negatives today as strong gusty westerly winds continue to push through the state bringing in very cold arctic air from the northwest. Some areas along US-127 and south of I-96 may very well see wind chills as low as 20 degrees below zero!

There are two primary concerns with wind chill values this low.

  1. Exposure to air this cold can cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes on exposed skin. If your going outside for any reason today make sure your bundled up and that all your skin is appropriately covered. Hypothermia is also a concern for the vulnerable populations in our communities and for those who are faced with prolonged exposure.

  2. Please check with your local county/city for information on where warming shelters may be setup!

  3. Check-in on your friends and family, especially the elderly, the young, and those with special needs!

  4. The second concern is for those who are without power. Make sure that you're checking on those who are without power. Find ways to stay warm and keep heat inside your house. Only use generators outside in well-ventilated areas!

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