Deep freeze

Cold temps to persist throughout week

Thick ice is wrapped around the gated breakwall at Presque Isle Park in Marquette on Tuesday as freezing temperatures and windchill whip across the area. (Journal photo by Jaymie Depew) Below, Lake Michigan is steaming in the morning as temperatures dipped below zero at North Avenue Beach Tuesday in Chicago. Meteorologists warn of sub-zero frigid arctic air and dangerously cold windchills. (AP photo)

MARQUETTE — Baby, it’s cold outside.

As freezing winds and temperatures whip across parts of the Upper Peninsula, the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township urges people to limit time spent outdoors and cover as much skin as possible since frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes of skin exposure.

“Even a light breeze with cold weather like this can make a big difference,” said meteorologist Jaclyn Ritzman.

As temps remain low, lake effect snow is also expected to continue in the northern and western parts of the U.P. today, which will limit visibility considerably at times, according to the NWS website.

The NWS initially issued a windchill advisory for Marquette County Tuesday morning. The advisory was reissued Tuesday afternoon until afternoon today as freezing temps and wind persist.

Tonight will be another chilly evening in the U.P. as the combination of cold conditions and light winds of about 6 mph will allow the windchill to range between -15 and -20 degrees, Ritzman said.

“It’ll start to warm up Friday with the temperature approaching the teens in central parts of the U.P. There will be ongoing lake effect snow in the west and northwest and some east of Munising toward Seney,” she said.

Ritzman said there should be a break in lake effect snow tonight but the U.P. could encounter a “widespread” snow event near the Great Lakes Thursday afternoon and night, generally east of Escanaba and Deerton and west of Newberry.

While dressing appropriately is an important safety factor during freezing conditions, travelers and commuters driving vehicles should also consider that vehicles don’t always work the best when the temps drop as low as they are now.

Quality Car Care Center Service Writer Mike Grange says getting a vehicle’s battery tested or replaced after five years is a “good preventative” measure since one of the biggest problems auto owners experience during the winter is their vehicle not starting.

“It’s important to get regular tune-ups and to make sure you don’t have weak spark plugs,” he said.

It’s also essential to get vehicles moving and warm, making sure mechanics are testing anti-freeze levels, getting timely oil changes and always clearing heavy snow from windshield wipers to keep from damaging them — all of which, according to Grange, are preventative ways of keeping vehicles on the road during the winter.

Although it could be too early to tell, the New Year might be met by brisk weather as the weather station currently reports a high temperature of 6 degrees expected Sunday.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.