Our March Arctic Blast Arrives Sunday

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-22 17:37:13-04

WEST MICHIGAN (March 22, 2014) — It seems way off base to even be mentioning the “A” word in mid/late March, but perhaps none of us should be surprised by anything that happens this winter anymore.  For Grand Rapids, 2014 will go down in history as the second snowiest on record. Along with that, brutally and unseasonably cold air that we haven’t seen in decades.

While the Arctic blasts of the past that occurred earlier this winter were ridiculously cold (with air temps and wind chills), this March blast will not be of the same caliber. Yes it will be cold…about 20 degrees below normal, but the air coming from Canada is being modified this late in the season, plus the March sun angle is much stronger and higher in the sky than it was in January and February.

The attached photo (thumbnail) with this story is an image from one of our computer forecasts models. It shows the air masses and temperatures about 5,000 feet above the surface. Notice the colder tones and colors off to the north/west of Michigan  associated with the Arctic air mass.

The snapshot below clearly shows the afternoon temperatures on Saturday (30s in West Michigan), and the sharply colder Arctic air lurking to our north/west. Normal highs this time of year have us in the mid/upper 40s.


Temperatures are forecast to remain well below normal through at least Wednesday, with a warm up in to the 40s expected Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, the warmer weather may come with a significant amount of rainfall during that time frame. Make sure to click over to for the complete 7-Day forecast, current temperatures, and current wind chills.