February 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Winter blast sends temperatures in Michigan to as low as 33 below zero

The icy chill can be seen along the Detroit River on Friday. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Detroit —Detroit came close Friday but did not break the record low of minus 1 set on Feb. 28, 1994.

“We came close but we did not break the record,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Deb Elliott, working out of the White Lake Township station. “Metro Airport reported our low as zero degrees. We would have needed one to tie and two to break the record.”

Detroit was much warmer than other parts of the state. Flint and the tri-city area are experiencing temperatures between 10 and 20 below, and among the coldest readings were minus 33 in Pellston and 30 below in Grayling. In metro Detroit, it dipped to 11 below in Pontiac and minus 7 in Mount Clemens.

“The cold air is pretty much parked across northern and central lower Michigan,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Considine said.

It’s been a particularly brutal winter in Detroit between the temperature and snowfall this season.

With an average temperature this winter of 21.2 degrees, it’s the coldest winter in Detroit since the late 70s and the city is currently tied for the 10th coldest winter on record.

Meanwhile, the city’s 79.2 inches of snow this season makes it the second snowiest winter in the books. Detroit got the most snow — 93.6 inches — in 1880.

One to three more inches of snow are anticipated Saturday, Considine said.

Temperatures Friday will reach the high teens before a warm-up, with a high of 32, moves in Saturday. By Saturday night, however, temperatures are expected to drop to a low of 10 degrees, and the high for Sunday will remain in the upper teens — a pattern that will continue for Monday and Tuesday before the area sees temperatures in the 20s on Wednesday, Considine said.

Considine said usually the average temperatures are going up by this point in the year.

“Unfortunately, that’s not the case this winter,” he said.

February did get a warm stretch of several days when temperatures made it into the 40s. Things could be looking up by later next week, he added.

“The good thing is, it’s looking like next weekend we start to get a pattern change and are looking at a little warmer weather,” Considine said.

cferretti@detroitnews.com
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Warren Foreman of Detroit walks along the Detroit River in Detroit on ... (David Coates / The Detroit News)