Very Cold January??

December 23rd, 2013 at 10:32 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

CFSv2.NaT2m.20131223.201401   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.

57 Responses to “Very Cold January??”

  1. Christian says:

    Bill, what does an extremely cold winter mean for the coming spring and summer? Is there a lingering effect when Lake Michigan freezes this extensively?

    (Answer I’m hoping for, by the way, is “early, warm spring and pleasant, warm and fully-sunny summer.)

  2. DF (SE Mich) says:

    The CPC has completely blown October and November, and will likely completely blow December as well… Based on this prediction for January and lack of blue, I think a cold January is coming.

    Not sure I’ve ever seen the CPC blow a prediction on the cold side…

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Ahh…..but if only you deeply understood they way the climate is warming, like they do, you would know that it would be preposterous to predict widespread cold.

      1. ron says:

        check out Alaska and most of upper Canada, and Greenland, warmer than average. West Michigan isn’t the only place on earth, though I have met many that think that.

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          As I have cautioned climate catastrophists not to make too much out of brief warm periods (like G.R. had in March and July 2012), I have cautioned skeptics not to make a big deal out of a realatively cold outbreak in a limited part of the globe (cold in the U.S.). While the U.S. was cool in November, satellite IR sensors showed: UAH Nov 2013 9th warmest Nov. since 1979 (0.20 C cooler than warmest Nov.) RSS Nov 2013 16th warmest Nov (0.22 C cooler than warmest). I am quite skeptical of the manipulated GISS data that showed it was the warmest Nov. ever. They get that not by comparing actual temperatures of weather stations, but by “adjusting temperatures” upward, (mostly in Russia). Ground truth does not support that tampering. So far, 2013 is about at the same global temperatures as 1997 and global temperatures continue to be steady since 2001.

        2. michael g (SE GR) says:

          Right. But when it’s warm anywhere, or there is a tornado or hurricane or flood anywhere, the warmists throw it in our face as proof of global warming. Can’t have it both ways.

        3. Steve G says:

          Yes and November was the coldest ever recorded globally.

        4. ron says:

          Exactly bill, you are right on the money, globally averages are the same, except its cooler than normal somewhere like antartica etc. and warmer than normal in places like alaska, canada, greenland where unfortunately we cant have it warmer than normal, nothing lives in antartica but scientist.

  3. Matt from Oceana Co. says:

    Montague is reporting 16inches of snow since 4pm!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      SNOW TWIN LAKE 43.37N 86.17W

      5 HOURS.

      1. Jack says:

        WOW, that’s Snowing Like a BUN of a SITCH ….. Over 2 inches a Hour if My Math is Right !!

        1. Cort S. says:

          Someone needs to take a core sample with a rain gauge and figure out the snow/liquid ratio of that stuff. For science!

        2. Jack says:

          Merry CHRISTmas CORT !! Let’s Apply for Grant $$$$ For Taking A Core Sample, to Study For Science !!!lol…Stay Cued … ;-)

  4. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    I’m not overly surprised, considering how cold December has been. Plus it seems like it’s been a long time since we’ve had a cold winter.

  5. Bobby (Ada) says:

    Are they thinking round 2 is coming here shortly? They just upped my point forcast in Grandville from 2″ overnight to 7″…. Radar shows nothing now =|

  6. Jack says:

    Cold January !! BILL!!! CUE, Gordon Lightfoot …10 degrees and Gettin COLDER,,,,LIVE::::: ;-)

  7. Scott says:

    Radar’s been having problems all night. Skipping, blanking out, showing nothing… very frustrating.

    1. Cort S. says:

      Might be a data communication issue between the radar and the NWS website. The radar data seems to be making it out to the rest of the world. CoD website is showing current images:

  8. Cort S. says:

    Looks like next week we’re poised to have a sudden stratospheric warming event, just like we did last year at this time. Long story short: Sometimes, SSW events can feed back down to the troposphere and bring high pressure to the pole, which displaces arctic air southward. Fascinating stuff to watch. The stratosphere’s connection to our weather is something that is very elusive to understand, but the meteorological research community is slowly getting a better handle on it. It’s really weird up there.

  9. Paul (Yankee Springs-Barry State Game Area) says:

    Thank you Great Lakes Energy ! Power came back at 11pm !
    We’ve got a fresh 4″ of snow here in the woods…..

    1. Jo Anne says:

      Power is still out here in Vermontville…they said they may have it back by Saturday! Main substations are down, wires still down at the neighbor’s house (we turned it in to Consumer’s). God is trying to get our attention and focus on the True meaning of Christmas, I think. I am thankful for God, family, and our freedoms. Merry Christmas to you all and may God bless and protect you, too!…….+…….

  10. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    What a nice surprise. A fresh 3″ this morning. It’s so fluffy and down-like. We’re still looking at Saturday to get our power back. Our nine-year old, forever the optimist, said well Daddy, this will be a Christmas we will never forget.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      That is for sure. Stay warm and Merry Christmas!

  11. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    The trees are so beautiful! I measured about 3.8 inches of new snow last night (On top of the inch or so yesterday) and everything is sticking to the ice on the trees! A white Christmas for sure :)

  12. Ed (Coloma) says:

    Measured 6 inches of snow from overnight and still not even an advisory.

  13. INDYY says:

    Don’t tell travass he may go off the warm end!!! I mean deep end!!! INDYY!!

  14. Heat Miser says:

    My question is, the Weather Channel yesterday had a graphic showing that January would be warmer than average for almost all of the US and that the Southwest would be much warmer than average. I have found no data to back up their claims, has anyone else seen something backing this up, or is it them just pushing their agenda forward again?

    1. that’s because the use the CFSV2 and it’s off a lot in the week 2 and out then comes around, same with the EURO “its great in days 1-15 and bad beyond or at least it’s been that way for a few months now. The EURO is still king however and you can see it by the scores.

    2. January now looks extremely cold

    3. southwest and west do look warmer but from corn belt and central plains east it’s going to be cold, cold see some freezing temperatures heading for Florida soon

    4. Bill Steffen says:

      The Weather Channel is going to be wrong over much of the country with that forecast. It’s a given that the cold will hold across the Upper Great Lakes into the Northern Plains. I think there will be some cold shots even down into central Florida in Jan. and Feb.

  15. INDYY says:

    We have very heavy snow coming on X-mass I hope u all get to the store and score more with 40+ winds we will have major power outs going in west Michigan going to be a crazy but fun X-mas day tom orrow remember Meijer closes in about 9 hours so get it now!!!! 6-8 inches of new snow coming with very heavy winds !!!! Stay Warm drink lots of sprites and watch Santa land tonight!!!! INDYY

    1. models like to dampen / weaken these system to quick so it could be very interesting Christmas Day. I think even inland areas cold pick up 1-3 or 2-4 with lots of blowing and drifting snow, we have heavy wet base with about 3 inches of snow that will fly easily so if we get any falling it could be very dangerous driving though out the area.

    2. Brad (Van Buren) says:

      40+ winds??? Really???

      FXUS63 KGRR 241212

      712 AM EST TUE DEC 24 2013



      ISSUED AT 325 AM EST TUE DEC 24 2013


      1. But then tank Sunday or Monday !!

  16. -0.4 right now in Breckenridge, 8 inches of snow on the ground, 3.0 inches since 7:00pm last night, which is good for a non snowbelt area thanks to a meso low last night. Very fluffy 25:1 or 30:1 ratio.

    1. suehelen says:

      We measured a little over 6″ here in Edmore. How bad will the winds be tomorrow, Mark?

      1. Thinking 15mph with some gusts to 25-30mph at times. We still have plenty of ice on the tree limbs so hopefully its less but I’m afraid will see more outages if it’s on the higher end of the wind speeds. Going to blow and drift for sure.

  17. ron(wayland) says:

    Has anyone seen the temps over northern lower this morning? -19 in gaylord… -20 pellston

  18. INDYY says:


  19. John says:

    I just drove up to the Whitehall Twin Lake area, and all I can say is WOW! They did get an incredible amount of snow!

  20. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    I have to say it sure looks very Christmas like out today. It would be a great day to get out and take pictures of what a true “Christmas Card” like Christmas looks like. While most of Michigan has a good chance of seeing white Christmases most years I think seeing one like this in much rarer. Partly Cloudy and 19° here now!

  21. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Looks like Gaylord got down to +20° Pellston -23° Grayling -17° and in the UP Newberry got down to -20° so a very cold night in northern lower and parts of eastern upper Michigan. Not sure what the record lows for the date are in those locations but I would bet its close in a couple of them.

  22. SW Kent says:

    As a resident of West Michigan for 50 years, I can tell you that in a LIFETIME, you will never have a more beautiful day to celebrate the birth of Christ.
    Enjoy and give thanks.

  23. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    >>>>>>>>>Weather Bullitin>>>>>>>>> The 12Z RDB model gives GR 3 to 4 inches of SNOW tonight and on Christmas! Enjoy and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and to all a good night!

  24. Sprites(Holland) says:

    Snowing nicely in Holland

  25. Paul (Yankee Springs-Barry State Game Area) says:

    Beautiful day working in Byron. The perfect Christmas scenery.

  26. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    Big fat flakes coming down in Spring Lake

  27. Scott says:

    New winter weather advisories are up with a new AFD. Seems the main concerns are winds, and heavy snow to the NW. Be careful everyone.

    1. SBPortage002 says:

      Also warning about possible additional tree damages and power outages as well with the breeze and snow. Not a great Christmas for some people. Prayers to those still without power.

      1. SBPortage002 says:

        of course with ice still on tree limbs not helping matters.

  28. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Has to be the most photo friendly Christmas EVER in this area. We’ve had plenty of snow before, but with the sun out shining on all of the ice on the trees it’s amazing!

    1. Jack says:

      AMEN !!! micheal G. GOD BLESS!!! :-)

  29. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Snowing at a decent clip here as well. Dusting here so far. I didn’t think we were suppose to get any snow today?

    1. SBPortage002 says:

      I always think that the perfect Christmas Eve night is one where snow is falling. It also, to me, seems to be the most peaceful night of the year. So to all who sees the snow falling this evening, smile and enjoy on this Christmas Eve night.

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