Greater Grand Rapids: Stuck in Polar Mode [Video]
Good morning. Welcome to the artic. You’ve been officially temporarily moved to a polar region.
Michigan and the Midwest are stuck in a polar vortex, according to the National Weather Service’s Grand Rapids Office. Typically, such an arctic blast — or wintry hurricane — only hits northeastern Canada a la Ontario, Quebec and regions further north.
However, this vortex has plunged further south than usual, plummeting greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan into a more than Upper Peninsula feel. Wind chills locally won’t be above zero until Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Bottom line: Brr. Stay inside if you don’t have to go out, authorities say.
Besides, there’s plenty of company for you, with 49 of the 50 U.S. states under freezing today. Lucky Hawaii; although it’s almost balmy in parts of Alaska with temperatures in Anchorage in the 40s.
The arctic blast locally continues through late Wednesday, with lake-effect snows blessing the region.
Particularly noteworthy are the extreme wind chills and the almost unheard-of daytime highs with this system. Watch it; it is rough outside.
At Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, the overnight low was minus 1 degree below zero; the high early Monday was 27 degrees and the temperature plunged throughout the day. It was 2 degrees at just before 8 a.m.
Snowy and windy conditions are merging for near-blizzard conditions and near-zero and single-digit temperatures with wind chills in the minus-10 to minus-20 degree range. Highs are only expected to reach the single digits up to 10 degrees today.
Schools, businesses and government offices were closed Monday and are again shuttered Tuesday.
For the third straight day, people are being asked to stay off roads and not travel.
WZZM-13 reported to the National Weather Service that 2.6 inches of snow fell at its Grand Rapids studios Monday.
In Grandville, 4.9 inches of snow had fallen as of Monday night, with nearly a foot of snow since the lake effect-induced storm began Saturday.
In Allegan, 5.7 inches of snow fell over a 12-hour period as of 7:20 a.m. today, with 18.5 inches of snow on the ground.
Snowfall over the weekend for a 48-hour period through Monday was 12.2 inches near Hastings; 11.8 inches in Kalamazoo; 10.8 inches in Hopkins; and nearly 9 inches on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus, in Dutton and East Grand Rapids, the National Weather Service reported. Six inches fell in Holland and Muskegon.
The Tuesday forecast is for snow showers, with another one to three inches of snow, gusting winds, temperatures hovering at 5 to 10 above zero with wind chills during the day of 16 to 26 below zero and dropping to 3 to 10 below zero overnight.
On Wednesday, more snow is expected with a 30 percent chance. Highs are to reach the upper teens and lows zero to 5 above, according to the National Weather Service.
— Townsquare Media’s Chris Chaberski contributed to this report.
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