Polar Vortex Takes Aim at West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The combination of heavy snow, gusty winds and brutal cold will lead to one of the harshest four days of winter weather that we have experienced in decades.

The slow start to winter has ended. You have probably already noticed with the recent arctic air and considerable episoldes of snow. This past week Grand Rapids received more snow than the 69 day preiod between November 11 through January 18. Much more is on the way.

Storm Team 8 says the snow from today's system is going to slowly ease up, as the snow storm moves to the east. Many areas have picked up as much as 6 inches snow with a few spots getting a bit more than that.  Blowing and drifting snow is creating numerous travel issues.

Monday's snowstorm was one of the snowiest single days of this winter season, coming close to a daily record for the date in Grand Rapids. The current record in Grand Rapids was set in 1977 with 7 inches of snow. 

The snow is only one facet of this harsh winter weather. Stinging, dangerous cold is the other. A polar vortex will sink south across the Great Lakes setting the stage for history making cold. A polar vortex represents an area of the coldest temperatures relative to average in the northern hemisphere under an upper level low. During rare occasions this vortex will dislodge from the polar regions and drop south lower latitudes.

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