With an expected “heat wave” and a high of 60 degrees this week, I’m a little worried we’ll have a green Christmas in West Michigan. As we approach the official start of winter this month, let’s take a look back at the coldest recorded temperatures in the Kalamazoo area.
The bad news is: if you are warm-blooded then winter in the north, specifically Michigan, can be a brutal time of year. Just over the past weekend we saw everything from wind to rain to snow to hail, all within the span of a single day. The saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” definitely rings true in Michigan.
According to records that date back to the 1800s, the National Weather service claims the Kalamazoo area has seen temperatures -10 or colder at least 100 times. Here are some of the coldest temperatures ever recorded:
1. February 1918
Not including windchill, this is the coldest recorded air temperature in Kalamazoo history coming in at a frigid -22 degrees below zero.
2. January 2019
Kalamazoo broke its own centuries old record as the temperature in the early morning hours of January 31st clocked in at -16 degrees below zero.
3. January 1899
Narrowly missing a tie for 2nd place by one degree, the coldest air temperature recorded in 1899 was -15 degrees.
4. January 1994
On January 19th forecasters called for a high of -3 degrees for the day. By including the bitter wind-chill of -35 degrees, this is another record-setting cold.
5. January 1982
Kalamazoo saw another record-breaking wind-chill on January 9, 1982. The high for this day was recorded as -5 degrees in the afternoon, but the unfathomable wind-chill of 50 mph made it feel more like a -55 degree wind-chill.
Clearly, January appears to trend as the coldest month for West Michigan weather. Despite the climate crisis, do you think we’ll see any record breaking temperatures in 2022?
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