December 2017 was the coldest in the last 17 years

Posted at 11:51 AM, Jan 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-01 11:51:10-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Winter 2017-18 is off to a cold start in West Michigan.

According to the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, this is the coldest December we’ve had since the year 2000. In Grand Rapids, it was our 20th coldest on record. For Muskegon and Lansing, it was the 25th and 42nd coldest December on record, respectively. (Records for all three sites go back 120 years or more.)

January is also off to a cold start, and we’re not anticipating any warm-ups until early next week. Tomorrow actually looks a bit warmer, but still below average with highs in the teens to lower 20s. (The average high in Grand Rapids at this time of year is 31°.) Here’s a look at Future Track HD temperatures for tomorrow afternoon:

As you can see, the warmest highs will likely occur along the lakeshore with a west to southwesterly breeze coming across Lake Michigan. Inland areas to the south of Grand Rapids will see this wind cut across mostly land, which means colder high temperatures.

A weak Alberta Clipper will bring system snow to much of the area on Wednesday, but accumulations look pretty light at this point:

In the extended forecast, expect more lake effect snow behind the above-mentioned Clipper for Thursday and Friday. This snow will come along with another blast of Arctic air, which will send overnight lows to sub-zero territory Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night. Even Saturday night will see many locations drop below zero. However, Sunday looks a little warmer with highs in the lower to middle 20s along with mostly sunny skies.

There are some indications that highs could finally reach the freezing mark on Monday. Stay tuned to FOX 17 for further updates to your forecast tonight and throughout the week!