Dangerous wind chills Wednesday morning

Posted at 9:02 AM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 09:02:48-05

WEST MICHIGAN- We've been getting snow fairly regularly the last 36 hours, but I want this post to focus purely on the dangerous wind chills that will accompany this snow.  It's easy to overlook because we've been mainly focused on the Winter Storm Warning as a public for the last 36 hours, but the cold is going to have a lot more significance in the short term.

Much of the area is under a Wind Chill Warning.  Why isn't half of the area included?  There are certain criterias these counties didn't meet (yet.)  But the main reason is that the cloud cover and wind off the lake will keep our temperatures slightly "warm" enough to avoid these warnings.

In addition to the blowing snow that I mentioned, sustained winds are going to be between 20-30 mph.  Often times when we get these arctic air masses, they're accompanied by high pressure and much calmer conditions.  This isn't going to be the case, and the more active pattern will cause much colder wind chills as a result.

As a general rule, wind chills between -25 and -35 are expected for everyone.  Wind chills lower than -40 are also very possible at times during the morning, especially in communities along the state border which aren't influenced by the "warmer" lake quite as much.

To give you an example of how incredibly dangerous these wind chills are, I've selected Kalamazoo among a handful of cities that are going to be impacted by the cold.  At 8:30 Wednesday morning, it will only take 10 minutes outside with exposed skin to get frostbite!  This is why it's going to be incredibly imperative to not only bundle up, but to check on those less fortunate.  Anyone outside at all overnight and tomorrow is going to be exposed to dangerous, life threatening cold.