Temperatures this week are brutal across the country thanks to our most recent Polar Vortex. We all saw the effects this most recent winter storm had on NFL games in Kansas City and Buffalo, NY, with bitter wind chills in the -20s or worse. The week started so cold, that even schools were closed for safety to the students.

But what's interesting is, Michigan, despite being very far north in the U.S., didn't have the coldest temperatures during this most recent cold snap. Why?

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We knew it was going to be bitter. Highs in Kansas City were at -8, with actual temperatures during Saturday Night's game against the Miami Dolphins at -13. Wind Chills were expected to be -30 or more, which made it one of the coldest games in NFL history. And the leading edge of that storm system was coming our way.

But why wasn't Michigan affected as much as parts of the lower Midwest, or the Plains states?

Thank you Lake Michigan

Yes, it's still brutally cold, and temperatures eventually dropped down to single digits, and a few negatives across the lower peninsula, but when the snow started falling, Michigan was still in the lower 30s, while parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio were already in the single digits, or colder.

Well, we can thank Lake Michigan for keeping us warm.

While actual temperatures on the west side of the Lake were sub-freezing, the actual temperature of Lake Michigan was still well above freezing at the mid to upper 30s in some places. And as the storm moved across the lake, it picked up that "warmer" air, and pushed it across parts of the lower peninsula, insulating us from the much colder temperatures to our south.


@bradsugden #greenscreen #windchill #polarvortex #frigid #cold #greatlakes #weather #fyp #michigan #xybca ♬ original sound - Brad Sugden

Now, of course, things settled down as the storm passed, the winds subsided, and now the lake temperature is dropping quickly. But it is a unique experience to see a 15-degree swing within just a few miles.

It also explains why we're now several days past the storm, and parts of west Michigan are still getting Lake Effect Snow.

And thankfully, a warmer air mass is coming soon, so we will see above-freezing temperatures within the next week.

Sunken WWII Plane in Lake Michigan

Winter Weather Safety Tips for Michiganders

Whether you're staying indoors, shoveling your driveway, or hitting the slopes, here are tips for remaining safe and injury-free this winter season:

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

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