Bitter cold continues across U.P.

ESCANABA – Bitter cold temperatures gripped the region again this morning prompting many schools to close their doors or experience delays.

Schools closed this morning included Bark River-Harris, Big Bay de Noc, Escanaba, Gladstone, Hannahville, Holy Name, Manistique, Mid Peninsula, Rapid River and St. Francis de Sales. Bay College scheduled a two-hour delay.

“It’s going to be really cold,” said Jonathan Voss, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Marquette office.

According to the National Weather Service, much of the Upper Peninsula will experience temperatures in the double digits below zero today. Some areas of Delta and Menominee counties could experience temperatures nearing -23 degrees. Warmer temperatures in the teens below zero are expected near shorelines.

While reduced visibility and wind chills caused dangerous conditions in some areas of the U.P. this morning, wind speeds are expected to drop this afternoon and evening.

“Even though we will be having cold tonight there won’t be much of a wind chill factor,” said Voss.

Despite the lack of wind, temperatures are still expected to be dangerously cold with lows in the Escanaba area remaining around -20 degrees.

“The coldest air is going to be coming over us today producing the coldest highs today and the coldest lows tonight,” said Voss. Temperatures Friday may be slightly warmer, but most of the area will still experience highs in the single digits.

In Escanaba Friday, highs are expected around 11 degrees, but wind chill values could dip as lot as -15 or -25 degrees. Snow is expected between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The below average temperatures are expected to continue into next week as an atmospheric ridge continues to push arctic air over the Great Lakes and eastern United States.

“Until that ridge breaks down over the West Coast and eastern Pacific and we get rid of this trough over us, we’re going to continue this colder than average weather pattern,” said Voss.