Unseasonably cold winter chill remains in place through mid November

Posted at 9:40 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 12:00:08-05

WEST MICHIGAN -- I'm guessing it's not what most folks want to hear...cold weather will continue for about the next two weeks. There are more leaves to rake up, grass to cut a final time or two, perhaps even a boat to winterize, but Mother Nature will keep temperatures running about 15 to 20 degrees below normal the next couple of weeks. Our normal high this time of year has us at 53.

Our forecast high temperatures the next two weeks will generally be running in the 40/42 degree range Tuesday/Wednesday, then drop into the 30s! In fact, there are indications next week may only make the 20s. The last time we had high temperatures that cold? March of 2019.

Take a look at the forecast model below valid for Wednesday morning at 6 A.M. It shows a clipper system (a fast moving low pressure area from Canada) dropping into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. I would expect snow showers for our Wednesday morning commute, perhaps slippery conditions, and perhaps accumulations from Grand Rapids to the north/west on the order of 1" to 2" possible. While we may have some snow south of Grand Rapids, they may be more rain mixing in there.

We may also have more snow showers Wednesday night into Thursday...the lake-effect variety. In fact, more lake effect snows are likely into next weekend with warm lake waters and colder air coming across the water. To be sure, this is an unusually cold airmass for this time of year being funneled in from Canada. Take a look at the image below. It shows the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) from November 12 - 18. The colors on the map simply represent the airmasses. The colder tones/colors mean colder surface temperatures. The warmer tones/colors correspond to warmer surface temperatures. The dark blue on the map over Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and the Northeast is a 70 percent chance of below normal temperatures during this week. That's offset by a bulls-eye of 70 percent above normal temperatures in California and Nevada.

To further confirm our thinking, take a look at the GFS (Global Forecast System) model below. The colors again represent the airmasses. The image below is valid for Thursday at 6 P.M. Notice the colder tones/colors in the Upper Midwest and Michigan with a trough in our jetstream.

Below is another image valid for next week Monday at 6 P.M. An even bigger, stronger shot of Canadian cold air arrives at that time. Any precipitation that arrives during that time will certainly yield snow. Even if no storm systems arrive, we will likely have to deal with the fall-out from lake effect snow.

Keep the hat, gloves, and coats handy. The cold weather is here to stay at least through mid-November. It looks as if we will not see a traditional Indian Summer. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at