Very Cold January??December 23rd, 2013 at 10:32 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Click on the image or click here to enlarge. Wow! This is the temperature anomaly (difference from average) forecast for January from the CFSv2 model. My first thought looking at this was…is there a chance Lake Michigan could pretty much freeze over this winter? There’s already a significant amount of early ice on the Great Lakes. It took until Jan. 22 to get as much ice on Lake Michigan as we had on Dec. 17 this year. The short term is sure cold. The European model has the G.R. temperature only getting a little above freezing for about 24 hours out of the next 10 days over the 28th/29th with temperatures during the day on New Year’s Eve only in the mid teens. The GFS plot is similar with the temperature in G.R. reaching freezing for about 14-16 hours from the 28th afternoon until about daybreak on the 29th. Temperatures would only about 15 the afternoon of the 30th and 31st and (it’s overdone, don’t get too excitied) the model has the G.R. temperature on New Year’s Day at 1 pm just 2 above zero. You can’t trust the time, but I think you can trust the general trend of colder to much colder than average temperatures in the long term well into January. The Great Lakes last was 90% frozen over in 1979. The pattern looks similar to Jan. 1994, when Grand Rapids reached -22F and one temperature report north of Belding was -37. Set aside a few extra dollars for the heating bill and plan on most of our precipitation to be snow and not rain in the next few weeks.