Record-setting pace

While we didn't set any records during Monday and Tuesday's temperature tumble, our wild winter is drifting toward the history books.
Marie Havenga
Jan 8, 2014

Monday marked the fourth coldest Jan. 6 in local history with an average temperature of 8 degrees. The last time West Michigan shivered this much on the sixth of January was in 1911, when the average temp topped out at 7.5 degrees.

In fact, this was the 10th coldest first week of a new year ever – with an average temperature of 15.8 degrees, nearly 10 degrees below normal. That ties the first week of 1942.

The last time a calendar year commenced with such constant chill was 1999, with a first-week average temperature of 14.4 degrees in West Michigan.

“It's an extremely cold start to the month,” National Weather Service Meterologist Evan Webb said. “It's a colder start to January than we've seen by a pretty large margin. If you get even a degree difference in average temperature, that's pretty significant.”

December was 3.8 degrees below normal.

The National Weather Service doesn't track wind chill history, but the Muskegon County Airport air hit minus 24 on Monday.

It gets worse; as the temperatures fell, the snow banks rose.

“We're on pace for record snowfall amounts at this point,” Webb said. “We're 18.1 inches above normal snowfall so far this season, with 59.5 inches.”

That's 4 feet of more snow than we had last year at this time and 10 times the amount we had two years ago.

“That is way, way over normal,” Webb said. “That's significant. Of course, that can change. We could have a couple of weeks in late January where we don't get any snow. Who knows?”

To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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