Unbelievable COLD!!

January 17th, 2014 at 1:02 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

gfs_namer_240_1000_500_thick   Click on the graphic to enlarge.  This is the 240-hour GFS model valid Sunday evening the 26th.  At this point, I’ll guess this is overdone.   For the sake of a lot of people who would be burdened by this kind of Arctic attack, I hope it’s overdone.  I don’t think I’ve seen a map this cold for the Great Lakes since 1994.  The map shows a 1000-500 mb thickness of about 483.  The GFS-plot gives G.R. a temperature of -9 at 7 pm on the 26th with a west wind at 25 mph!  That would give a wind chill of -36.  The model keeps the temperature below zero in G.R. from midday Sunday to Weds. morning!  It takes Milwaukee as cold as -25 and if MKE is -25 with a strong west wind, it could really be -10  to -14 on this side of Lake Michigan, even with a west wind coming off Lake Michigan.  Just look at the temperatures on the GFS-plot for Milwaukee!  It looks like a plot from Siberia!  It’s not just the extreme cold, it’s the length of time…10 days, 2 weeks of bone-chilling cold.   Look at how much energy we will using heating during this period.  Think about how tough this would be on wildlife.  OK – the European isn’t quite as cold.  It does take the temp. in G.R. a little below zero next Tue., Wed., and Thur. mornings with daytime temps. around 10-15.   We have one day that is not quite as cold, mid-upper 20s on Friday the 24th and the Euro. has highs around 15 on Saturday the 25th and maybe 17 on Sunday the 26th with lows around 0 to +5…definitely not warm, but no where near as brutal as the GFS.  More later…it’s after 3 am and I’ve got a haircut scheduled at 1 PM…gotta get a little sleep.

2:50 pm:   Morning run of the GFS looks real cold for the next week east of the Rockies.  Coldest relative to average centered over MN and WI.   Frost this AM in Naples FLGigantic pyrocumulus cloud rises over wildfire in Victoria, Australia.   Temperatures -30 to -45 and winds gusting to 45-65 mph in Northwest Alaska.

98 Responses to “Unbelievable COLD!!”

  1. WswPlz says:

    That has to be over done, right???

    1. Cort S. says:

      The 850 mb temperatures in that GFS run are not quite as cold as the arctic intrusion 10 days ago, but it’s pretty close.

      1. WswPlz says:

        Cold enough…. How’s weather in SLC?

        1. Cort S. says:

          We had a parade of shortwave disturbances come through for 5 days last week. Since Monday, the west coast ridge has restrengthened and is forcing most weather systems to go well north of us. Sunny, highs near 40 and lows near 20. The active weather last week scoured out the dirty air, but the temperature inversion is back now. Air in the valley is once again trapped, and pollution is climbing back up to almost unhealthy levels.

        2. WswPlz says:

          Your air is trapped like it is in L.A. Just not the population size. Hope it gets better for ya, and thanks for the info on Ca. Cort.

  2. WswPlz says:

    Mother Russia has unleashed the Siberian express , great that’s all we need.

  3. Cort S. says:

    Pretty bleak winter in California, where the state just had its driest calendar year, and that tremendous upper-level ridge over the West Coast is not letting any storm systems make landfall there this month. Take a look at the satellite photos comparing last year to now.


    1. WswPlz says:

      That is unreal, i lived in San Diego from 1997-2006 then in Laguna Beach until last year, which is about an hour and half fron Big Bear where I used to ski. There is no snow even in the San Gabriel mountain range. That is much worse than I thought. I have never seen it like that before in my life. That sat pic almost doesn’t seem real.. They are going to have a bad fire, mark ny words. I’ve been through some really bad fires and it was not this dry in September during drought years.( when it’s dry season.

      1. WswPlz says:

        Wow, I’m speechless

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

    That would probably even be too cold for snowmobiling. If there’s a wind chill of 20 to 35 below zero just walking out the door, the wind chill on a snowmobile going 50mph would have to be 50-70 below zero! Even though our snowmobiling gear is specially made for extreme cold, its not fun when you get so cold it hurts. This kind of cold is only good for ice on lakes/rivers. We have gone through a crazy amount of firewood in our woodstove already this year. We didn’t even have to start a fire in our woodstove until this time last year, we just used our furnace.

  5. Tyler says:

    This winter really reminds me of 1993-1994. Very eerie similar and Bill it is the 20th anniversary of the 1994 cold wave today! You should post a special blog about the 20th anniversary and people’s memories of it.

  6. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    I heard earlier tonight on some network newscast that California is experiencing their worst drought in 115 years! Is that correct?

    That’s just nuts. And for the next two weeks looks like they will get absolutely no relief….

  7. Dan says:

    Cold overdone? Lets hope Bill is right! He does have a great track record. My only question is this if it going to cold why no snow ?

    1. Brian says:


      Snow can only come from moisture in the air. Air can only hold a certain amount of moisture depending on the temperature. The colder air gets, the less moisture it can hold. So it actually can be too cold to snow.

      Now, because we have the lake, that adds moisture to the air whenever cold air blows over it, but because the air is so cold it can’t hold that moisture for long, and it condenses and forms snow very quickly. That’s why the lake shore gets a lot more snow in the winter, because once the air moves onto land and stops being “fed” the moisture from the lake, it lets go of the moisture pretty much immediately. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  8. Dan says:

    *to be cold

  9. Dan says:

    Winter is still here! It took a few days for a break. Now, How long does it stay around and hoe much snow can we pick up?

  10. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Yesterday was my 7th above average day in a row. Not bad for a “cold” week.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Your high yesterday was -1 from average. Thanks goodness for the cloudy nights to keep you from getting too cold, eh?

    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      How does WhateverTrends look for Flint?

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Wrong, most likely.

        1. INDY says:

          More fake info!!! Could not ask for more right? INDYY….

    3. Bill Steffen says:

      And despite that, Travis – Flint is still 3.2 deg. colder than average for January 1-17 after being 2.4 deg. colder than average in December and 1.8 deg. colder than average in November. G.R. has now had 39 consecutive days with 4 or more inches of snow on the ground. But hey! Let’s force the public to buy carcinogen-filled light bulbs so we can make it colder!

  11. Dan says:

    Be careful! The roads are a sheet of ice, especially back roads
    Take your time!

  12. BIG MAC says:

    only green grass sw kent thought he saw he rolled and smoked

    1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

      BIG MAC is a fat drunk that lives on government assistance.

      1. Tim (Spring Lake) says:

        Funny….I saw green/brown from Muskegon to Ludington this week, but by all means, PLEASE rip people MORE for saying we would see grass this week. Truth hurts!!!!

  13. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    06Z GFS is still extremely cold on the 26th, but the duration of the intense cold is not as extreme…and it actually shows a warm up with rain by the end of the 16 day period. Not sure that is going to happen, but the GFS may be coming around to the Euro. in regards to the duration of the cold not being as long as the 00Z.

  14. dj2450 says:

    The NWS seems to be buying into a EXTREMELY cold two week period. Here in central Gratiot CO. they have a forecast low of -14 for Wed. the 22nd.

    The NWS forecast forecast mentions temps as cold as -20 below. Then go on to say week two will be colder yet. If GR is -20 inland areas could see -30.

    In 1994 my unofficial thermometer reading briefly reached -34 for about 20 minutes and then fell back to the minus mid 20′s. Scary stuff so be prepared!

    1. dj2450 says:

      NWS forecat discusssion

      1. dj2450 says:

        Too early forecast

    2. yooper4021 says:

      Looking at many of the local/national temp forecasts for next week, high temps are in the teens mid/late week next week followed by brief moderation Fri/Sat, then more cold after that.

      One interesting tidbit… looking at In-Accuweather’s 45-day forecast for GR this morning…only 2 days above freezing through March 2. Cold weather/winter guys – rejoice! I’d be inclined to bet on a mild February, based on that forecast.

  15. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Detroit is now only 0.5″ of snow away an ENTIRE season worth of snow. Not bad at all when the 30 year average includes the snowiest decade. +24.6″ to date, I love it.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      *from an

    2. SW Kent says:

      How much snow is on the ground in Detroit?

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        4″ at the airport. Same here in A2.

  16. INDY says:


    1. John says:

      Coldest air since two weeks ago not since 1994 INDY

      1. Forrest says:

        How hypocritical. You get all in a tizzy when people disagree with you or correct you, yet you’re quick to correct INDYY – an institution of this blog.

  17. Michael g (se gr) says:

    We’ll see. The GFS’s error in the 7-10 day period lately has been to be too warm, not too cold. That would. Sure be something to see.

    1. Bruiseviolet (CedarRock) says:


  18. Terry says:

    I was tip-up ice fishing in NE Kent County on a few of those brutal days in 1994. It was -18F below one morning. We forgot our auger one morning and had to spud through 18″ of ice. My friend had a large mustache and it froze solid. He had finger less gloves on and I don’t know how he could stand it. The air was amazingly clear and still and the ice was banging from ice forming.

  19. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

    Wow. Weather.com and Accuweather.com have East winds Monday night and SW winds Tuesday… FAIL. And IF the ever changing 45 day forecast from INAccuweather was ever right we’d have snow on the ground into March. It only has three days in the upper 30′s in February right now. Too bad that will change. (110% chance) It just shows the cold hanging around.

    1. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

      And that’s for me down here. It has Grand Rapids only getting above freezing two days in February (warmest 36) with no rain all month and lots of snow chances. LOL

    2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      There was a time when that 45 day forecast did not have it staying below 32° for a 3 week period here in January. If I recall it started around the 11th or 12th and it did not show a day staying below 32 until the 31st.So that will change a lot

  20. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Looking at the possible near record cold that could be coming up near the end of the month. While its still a ways off and it could still turn out not as cold as some of the models are indicating, but looking at the history book for GR and focusing in on January 23 to 31 dates. Some extreme record lows for those days are -19° for both the 23rd and 24th set in 1948. -16 for the 29th set in 1966, -22 for the30th set in 1951 and a -20° set at the start of the cold wave of 1899. Now for the record cold maximum’s they range from +7 to +4 for all of the days and in second place the range is closer to +10 with the range being +6 to +11° with the coldest maximum being +4 in in 1926 for the 28th the 30th in 1899 and the 31st in 1971. So we shall see just how cold it gets. But like Bill stated its probably over done. BTW not getting above 0° here in GR is a rather rare event and it has only been recorded happing here 7 times with the last time being on January 18th and 19th 1994.
    Right now I have a temp of 24° with a few light snow flurries.

  21. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    BTW while this will change from run to run here is the 16 day plot for GR


    To me both the temps and precipitation look over done, we shall see.

  22. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    BOOO, not looking forward to another arctic blast. Man, it’s been a cold winter!

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Well, we can always hope it doesn’t come to fruition.

  23. michael g (SE GR) says:

    12Z GFS not backing down on the cold. At least a 10 day period starting on Monday..


    1. John says:

      He uses the word severe, WOW!

  24. INDY says:


    1. John says:

      No its not! Your defiantly crazy!! :-)

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        Yes, defiantly.

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

    Wow the 12Z GFS from yesterday had 1.67″ of precip for 16 days. The 12Z GFS from today gives us 0.7″ of precip for 16 days. I guess we’re gonna get a boring Wisconsin/Minnesota weather pattern for the next 2+ weeks. It would be fine if we had enough fresh snow to play in, but we have 7″ of ice with 3-4″ of fluff on top.

    1. Mike (southeast Berrien county) says:

      GFS does not predict lake effect well. Could be some pretty significant lake snows coming in the next 5-10 days.

      1. John says:

        Does not?

        1. Mike (southeast Berrien county) says:

          It gives an idea of the general region of where the snow will occur sometimes, but when it comes to specifics, usually the high resolution models are the best at zoning in on specifics & most importantly water equivalent amounts over a specific area. But yes though, the long term GFS is hinting at a general widespread lake effect event across west Michigan & even down into northern Indiana next week. Still a lot of details to be nailed down though by the other models in the days ahead.

        2. John says:

          The GFS does give 6″+ for everyone west of 131 for much of next week, hoping for a snowy week, that will help at least take over the boring cold and dry pattern

    2. WswPlz says:

      + 10000 let’s hope we get more snow. I really don’t want frozen frosty without the snow man…!!

    3. michael g (SE GR) says:

      I’d like the 1.7″ better, but with the cold air, .7″ could still be 12-18″ of snow, which wouldn’t be that bad.

  26. Jeff (Richland) says:

    If Accuweather was to be believed, the long range does not forecast temps hitting 32 or greater (besides maybe Sunday) until late February, and even then it is right around 32. This winter, outside of the snowstorm a couple weeks ago, has been absolutely horrible in my opinion and it is only going to get worse it looks like. Spring is going to feel REALLY good this year, if it ever gets here. We need a pattern change, bad, and doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

    1. John says:

      Agreed, I will be more than ready for spring once this next cold outbreak is done! Cold= :P

  27. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Great long video interview (free) with Joe Bastardi, on the upcoming cold, a stormy February, and a warm March….


    1. John says:

      Ugh oh, he is saying this next outbreak could rival the 94 outbreak too, that’s not good, I sure hope he is wrong

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

      Good find.

  28. INDY says:

    Hey John air temps will be colder next week then last week we talking air temps!! Not windshield temps YES coldest since 1994!!! INDYY….

    1. John says:

      We’ll see, I’m trying to remain positive here INDY lol, I don’t want something like that, it’s just tooooooo cold for me!

    2. John says:

      Shut up INDY!

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

    It sure is snowing hard here for only flurries and a dusting forecasted for the day.

  30. John says:

    23° here right now!

  31. John says:

    Screw you guys!

    1. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

      You’re cool.

    2. John says:

      That was not me

      1. John says:

        I’m changing my name to John (norton Shores) who ever decided to start using my name, I swear that was not me though!

  32. John (Norton Shores) says:

    Did it work? is my name changed?

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      Yep. It worked!

    2. John says:

      Look it’s me!!!

      1. John (Norton Shores) says:

        I’m just going to ignore whoever you are

  33. John says:

    I’m lying!

  34. John says:

    Again screw you all, I am lying I am John from Norton Shores, and it was me that said that post above

  35. INDY says:

    travass for got to take his warm meds today!!!! INDYY…..

    1. John says:

      Smell my bellybutton INDY!!

    2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      ASSDY forgot to take his, help me not to be be an idiot pill today!!!!

  36. INDY says:

    Enjoy john john Bill will take CARE U SOON!!! INDYY….

    1. dj2450 says:

      That’s right. Bill can tell by the IP address if there’s an imposter.

  37. INDY says:

    Jordon has done this a few time on Bills blog did not last very long!! INDYY..

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      You have a lot of fans.

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:


    2. Dan says:

      Ignore Jordan. He is about 12 and contributes ZERO to the blog! Indy Are we in for some decent snows as the cold gets here? Lets hope so! Winter Rocks!

  38. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    We are in a COLD pattern and a NO SNOWSTORM pattern, so get used to it!

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      Who on earth are you talking to, Rocky?

    2. fixxxer says:

      Your a broken record.

  39. fixxxer says:

    Lol @ this blog.

  40. Tyler says:

    Another 2 inches here last night.

  41. Tim (Spring Lake) says:

    Ok, I am usually silent here, but show my face every now and then.
    Here is my question: WHY do certain people have to state the SAME comment repeatedly? Observations are great, and I like predictions of what you believe will happen. Especially with links to show your point.
    But to make the SAME repetitive statements over and over again adds NOTHING to THE blog.
    I was 12 at one point too. How about attempting to grow up?
    99.9% of the people who read this blog.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Makes no damned sense to me either.

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