Arctic air to stick around another week

Jennifer Chambers

The wind chill factor in Metro Detroit may reach dangerous levels on Saturday, Sunday and Monday with another surge of arctic air  that arrived and will stay for the week.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for southeast Michigan, saying a surge of arctic air will stay in the region through Thursday.

Wind chill readings for Saturday night, Sunday morning, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day morning are expected to reach from minus 9 in the city of Detroit to minus 12 in Troy and minus 14 and minus 15 in more rural areas of Metro Detroit, NWS officials said.

“The closer you get to downtown, the less the wind chill will be. It’s that urban effect. The city traps some of the heat,” said meteorologist Trent Frey from the weather service’s White Lake Township office.

“The lower numbers will more likely be for more rural areas at night. Either way, it’s dangerously cold. If you can limit time outside, it will be best.”

The daytime high for Saturday may be near 18, but at night temps will fall near 3 degrees in Detroit.

The forecast for Sunday/New Year’s Eve will be sunny with a high near 11 and a low around 0 in the evening. New Year’s Day will be partly sunny with a high near 13.

For Tuesday, mostly sunny skies are forecast, with a high of 14 and a low of 3. Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with a high around 16 and a low around 0.

"We'll be monitoring throughout Saturday to see if we want to issue a weather advisory for the wind chill," said Frey. 

The cold snap is likely to be the nation’s most extreme since February 2015, according to the weather service. It’s producing dangerously low temperatures and wind chills over much of the central and eastern United States.

In southeast Michigan, temperatures are 20 degrees lower than normal, which is about 33 degrees for highs and 21 degrees for lows. Instead, the area is dealing with highs in the low-to-mid teens and lows around zero degrees.