Gusty Winds And Polar Air Cause Extreme Wind Chills Monday

Posted at 12:25 PM, Jan 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-06 12:25:10-05

windchillsWEST MICHIGAN — Winds are picking up as cold arctic air moves into West Michigan and the combination of the two will lead to extreme wind chills Monday and Tuesday.

Temperatures are steadily falling into the single digits and below zero and winds are expected to gust between 25 and 30 miles per hour. This combination leads to extreme wind chills, some of which we have not seen in decades.

Wind chills will drop steadily Monday throughout the afternoon between 20 and 40 below zero. Winds out of the west-northwest will keep temperatures from bottoming out completely through the afternoon but that will not be the case through the overnight hours when areas along and south of I-94 see a wind shift overnight transitioning winds from off the lake to off of the land. This transition is key because water is a far more efficient insulator, which keeps temperatures slightly more mild. Without this lake insulation, actual air temperatures are likely to drop well below zero and even a light breeze will allow wind chill factors to drop to 20 to 40 below zero.

Temperatures will warm as we head into the afternoon Tuesday but will be slow to warm back to seasonably average. Gusty winds should make travel especially hazardous as light snow will create slick roads and below zero temperatures will make salt ineffective for melting ice and snow.