GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It certainly was cold this morning with an official 1° reading in Grand Rapids. Kalamazoo bottomed out at -1° while Battle Creek, Coldwater, Big Rapids, Marshall, and Charlotte all had lows of -3°. An NWS co-op observer in Hastings had a low of -6°, which is the coldest reading I’ve seen in West Michigan this morning.
Although it was a cold Valentine’s Day for us, our lows pale in comparison to some of the minimum temps observed in the Upper Peninsula. Most locations, with the possible exception of stations right along the shoreline of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, dropped to double digits below zero. In fact, the -40° reading in Amasa, MI is the coldest Valentine’s Day temperature ever observed in the state of Michigan according to the National Weather Service. It was also the coldest temperature observed this morning across the U.S. (including Alaska)!
Now our attention will turn back to snow for the rest of tonight and tomorrow morning. A warm front is lifting northeastward towards Michigan as we speak. The clouds, snow, and southeast breeze ahead of this front will guarantee low temperatures milder than last night. However, up to an inch of snow is possible across the area. This will obviously make driving a little tricky tomorrow morning, especially on untreated roadways.
Beyond tomorrow morning, the overall weather pattern looks significantly milder as the jet stream shifts to a more zonal, west-to-east flow across the northern tier states. This will eventually bring in mild, Pacific air to the region, and highs well into the 40s are expected by the end of this week. Although another shot of bitterly cold air is still possible before the winter is over, prolonged periods of severe cold are getting less likely at this time of year due to the higher sun angle and gradual increase in daylight.