Meteorologists say winter is starting out colder than normal


winter in Michigan

While winter is normally the cold season, experts are saying that lately Michigan has been a little colder than normal.

CMU Public Radio’s Jennifer Weingart talked to Dave Lawrence at the National Weather Service about why that is and what you should do to stay warm.

(Audio Transcript)
Dave Lawrence: We are definitely colder than normal. Historically speaking high temperatures this time of the year average right about 30 degrees, either side of freezing really, average lows are mainly in the middle teens. So for us to see high temperatures that are only in the teens is rather unusual for this time of the year.

Jennifer Weingart: Do we know why we’re this cold?

DL: We sure do. We can thank our friends to the North. Canada has been building up a lot of cold air. We’ve been seeing this since, really, early November. Just tremendous amounts of cold air building up there. And at some point that was going to unleash into the U.S. and because it has been building for so long when it finally did make it’s way down here, it was quite significant.

JW: Alright, are we going to look at a lot of snow coming out of this system at all?

DL: We will be looking for quite a bit of lake effect snow, those areas that are prone to that will see some very significant accumulations over the next five days or so. The majority of the rest of the area that doesn’t typically see lake effect really just looking at some cold and blustery conditions. As most of the storm systems are going to stay well to our south here over the next week or so.

JW: What should people do to prepare for all this cold weather?

DL: Well northern Michiganders are quite hardy by their nature, it’s why we live up here, but if there’s one thing I had to stress is just bundle up in layers if you’re going outside. Wednesday, particularly is going to be quite chilly with high temperatures only in the single digits and teens and we’re going to see wind chill rating perhaps as low as 20 degrees below zero. So even though we’re very hardy up here, those kind of extremes can be quite dangerous if you don’t take the precautions.

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