Gusty winds creating low visibility and dangerously cold wind chills

Posted at 10:33 AM, Feb 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-14 10:33:23-05

WEST MICHIGAN — Fresh snow combined with gusty winds will continue to deteriorate travel conditions Saturday across West Michigan.

Temperatures will continue to fall throughout the day and the evening as cold Canadian air filters into the Great Lakes. Actual temperatures will fall into the single digits by afternoon and drop below zero overnight as skies gradually clear.

Temperatures overnight could reach between 5 and 10 degrees below zero in many areas, a temperature this cold will put Grand Rapids daily low temperature record at stake. At seven below zero, it is a good possibility that temperatures will be cold enough to break the record.

Winds will also increase throughout the day Saturday creating low visibility from blowing snow. Winds generally out of the north-northwest will be sustained between 20 and 30 mph throughout the afternoon. Some wind gusts could reach in excess of 40 mph. As of Saturday morning there were already many reports of wind gusts over 40 mph along the Lakeshore.

Peak Wind Gusts - Saturday AM

Peak Wind Gusts – Saturday AM

Gusty winds will also drop feel-like temperatures throughout the day and evening. Expect wind chills to drop to between 15 and 25 degrees below zero. Wind chills at this level are incredibly dangerous. Frost bite can occur in a short amount of time.

FutureTrack HD Feel-Like Temperatures valid Sunday AM

FutureTrack HD Feel-Like Temperatures valid Sunday AM

Winds will gradually decrease Sunday, however temperatures will remain bitterly cold and with temperatures so cold even a light breeze will keep feel-like temperatures well below zero.

Expect travel to be impacted through most of the weekend as gusty winds create slick road conditions and bitter cold temperatures make it difficult for road crews to adequately treat road surfaces.