Coldest air in years next week

Posted at 8:50 AM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 19:35:50-05

WEST MICHIGAN- We've had some cold air recently, but winter is going to be felt very soon in a way that we haven't felt in quite some time.

It's been since the winter of 2014-15 that we've seen a couple days that didn't reach double digit high temperatures. I believe we've got a good shot at that...and more by the middle of next week.  I think there's at least one day that's going to struggle to get about ZERO. If West Michigan doesn't end up getting above zero, it would be the coldest air we have seen since January of 1994. Historically speaking, high temperatures at or below zero have only happened eight times.

Either way, some of our forecast wind chills are incredibly dangerous.  Just look at this map for the middle of next week.  It's so cold in the upper Midwest that it exceeds our color table!  I think West Michigan is likely to expect wind chills between -25 to -35 below zero for a good period of minimum.  Frostbite with these temperatures would occur in 15 minutes or less. This is likely to be an incredibly dangerous time for people outdoors or those without heat.  This is your heads up before it gets much colder by the middle of next week.

Signs of frostbite, according to Jennifer Hoekstra with Helen Devos Children's Hospital include skin feeling itchy or tingly and hardened areas of skin that turn white. If you or someone you know begins to exhibit these signs, seek warmth immediately and contact your health provider.