We will see more clouds than in the past few days. We will see sunshine at times with a breeze from the south. Temperatures will gradually warm with highs likely in the 50s for most of the area Thursday. Conditions cool over the weekend into early next week.
1899: The greatest arctic outbreak in United States history begins a period of extreme cold in Michigan. Grand Rapids hits 15 below zero. During the next week, temperatures will fall to all-time record lows across the state and much of the continental U.S.
On February 7, 1895, the daytime temperature rose to only 2 degrees in Detroit, which is the record daily low daytime temperature. This was also the third day in a row (February 5-7) that daily low daytime temperature records were set.
A blizzard raged across the Great Plains. Many pioneers, unprepared for the cold and snow, perished in the tristate region of southwest Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, and southeastern South Dakota. Visibility was down to three feet. Cows suffocated in the deep drifts, and trains were stuck for days. More than 70 people died; some bodies were not found until spring.
The following appears on pages 260-261 in the “History of Dakota Territory” by George Kingsbury. “On the 7th of January, 1873, a brother and sister of “John Foster,” aged respectively fourteen and twelve years, went a short distance from home and soon afterward a blizzard came up suddenly. The children wandered in the storm to an old sod house that stood out on the prairie and there sought shelter from the driving snow. However, as the house was roofless, it afforded but poor protection against the blizzard, and the children perished, their bodies being buried in the snow. Our subject and the father were absent from home at the time. Weeks passed, and despite continued searching, the bodies of the children were not found, but in March, a neighbor dreamed that the children were in the old house, and on the 16th of that month, their bodies were found there.”
1966: Tropical Cyclone Denise dropped 45 inches of rain on La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean in 12 hours and 71.80 inches of rain in 48 hours through the 8th. Click HERE for more information from Meteo France. Please note, the webpage will load in French.
1989: Empty foundations are all that remain of four homes on the southwest end of Allendale, Illinois after an F4 tornado ripped through. The tornado was extremely rare due to its strength and the fact that it occurred so far north during the middle of meteorological winter.
2008: A rare, EF3 tornado tracked across southeastern Wisconsin. Experiencing a tornado in Wisconsin in January is extremely rare. In fact, it had only happened once between 1950 and 2007, when an F3 tornado affected parts of Green and Rock Counties on January 24, 1967. That tornado in South Central Wisconsin was part of a much larger outbreak of 30 tornadoes across mostly Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. Wisconsin ended up with 30 tornadoes in 1967.
- Abnormally Warm Temperatures Expect temperatures to warm over the next few days as the southerly flow builds bringing in a warmer air mass. Normal high temperatures for this time of year are around 31 degrees with normal lows around 18 degrees. Looking at 925 mb temperatures, today will be around 5C, Thursday around 7C, and similar values before the front moves through Friday night (especially over the southeast portion of the forecast area. With the high clouds and winds paired with these warm temperatures aloft we`re looking at highs today in the mid 40s to low 50s, Thursday in the low to upper 50s (some spots could hit 60), and Friday in the low to upper 50s along and south of a Holland to Mount Pleasant line with upper 40s north of that line. With these abnormally warm temperatures we have the potential to tie or break records today through Friday for some areas. Both record high and record warm low temperatures could be set over the next few days. Check the Climate section below for the record high temperatures for several areas across western Michigan. - Rain chances begin late Thursday Afternoon and continue through Friday High pressure that has dominated the weather pattern will finally be pushed eastward as a large upper level low moves through the Upper Midwest. That large upper level low will be forcing an approaching upper trough along with isentropic ascent which should bring late afternoon to evening showers across lower Michigan. Fairly warm and dry air out ahead of the approaching low should keep any precipitation at bay. A deep band of moisture should move in by Thursday evening. This will bring rain to southern Lower, especially regions north of I 96, where the highest QPF is currently. Total QPF is still below a quarter of an inch. Rain should continue into early Friday as several waves of mid level moisture traverse the region. A slightly stalled boundary along the Indiana border could allow for rain to linger into Friday evening. - Temperatures trend closer toward normal this weekend As the before mentioned upper level system moves to the east, colder northerly flow will move into the area Saturday. 850mb temps behind this front will drop into the -5 to -10C range Saturday night. A predominately zonal pattern will dominate the pattern through the weekend. While Max temperatures through the weekend will remain above normal, they will be much closer and should only be around 5 degrees above normal. There is some model trend of a clipper esque upper level trough swinging through Sunday evening. That could bring a chance for snow showers, especially given the cold air advection and the westerly flow across the lake. However, this is a low confidence at this point given timing and placement issues. No impacts expected at this time.