This Friday is the end of meteorological winter, but it won't feel like it. Highs and lows will be 25-30 degrees below climatological normal through next weekend.
Meteorological winter is designated December-February and this year has been the 11th coldest on record.
Wednesday: Sunny. H: 16 L: -9 Wind: SW 10-15
Thursday: Partly sunny. H: -1 L: -10 Wind: NW 5-10
Friday: Partly sunny. H: 7 L: -12 Wind: NW 5
Saturday: Increasing clouds, overnight snow showers. H: 1 L: -10 Wind: NW 7
Sunday: Continued cold. H: 10 L: -1 Wind: NW 2
Record Ice on Great Lakes
One of the side effects of the extensive cold has been record ice cover on the Great Lakes. Ice covers an average of 88% of the lakes, the most since 1994. Lake Superior is now 94% covered giving way to spectacular ice caves that have been attracting thousands of visitors, including cyclists.
Which brings up an interesting point. Michigan's soils and shorelines are fragile, and off-road vehicles along stream banks and other waterways are restricted during the warm season. Off-road vehicles include ATV's, cars...and bikes. But what about in the rare event that the lake freezes over?
Mixed messages have been sent out. Some have been told that biking along the shoreline and ice caves is legal whereas others have been told otherwise. I know a group of riders heading up to northern Michigan this week and they plan to meet with the park rangers to get a straight answer before they hop on their saddles and explore the ice caves.
NWS Twin Cities Weather Story