Polar vortex forecast near all-time lows around Detroit
Michigan could see record-breaking lows this week as temperatures plummet and arctic winds bring the windchill possibly down to minus 40 degrees.
That is the lowest windchill expected since February 2014, according to the National Weather Service.
The high for Wednesday is expected to be minus 4, the same as the record low for the date set in 1951. Wednesday night's low is expected to be near minus 12.
That is nearing some of the coldest days on record for the region:
- On Jan. 21, 1984, temperatures dropped to minus 21, the coldest minimum on record.
- After 143 years, Feb. 9, 1875, remains the second-coldest day in the Detroit area with its lowest minimum temperature at minus 20. That is tied with Jan. 19, 1994.
- Jan. 18, 1976's low for the day was minus 18.
- Jan. 12, 1918; Jan. 25, 1897; and Feb 6, 1918, all had lows of minus 16.
In 2013, Jan. 30 also saw a record high of 62.
A substantial number of the record-low temperatures for Metro Detroit were set in the 1870s and 1880s. But the region has experienced bouts of historic freezing in the past four decades.
In a four-day period around Christmas 1983, the Detroit/Pontiac region set consecutive-date records of minus 9, minus 9, minus 10 and minus 8.
The last time the area saw a low of minus 15 was Jan. 16, 2009, weather service records show.
Metro Detroit last set a record-low temperature a little more than a year ago on Dec. 27, 2017, when the mercury hit minus 4.