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Soaring highs and arctic cold

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Soaring highs and arctic cold top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the events that happened on January 16.

1949 - Temperatures reach record highs in the mid to upper 50s for the second consecutive day across southwest Lower Michigan. Grand Rapids observes a record 58° Lansing 55°, Flint 54° and Sault Se. Marie 43°.

1963 - Iron Mountain had a low temperature of -30°, the 11th straight day of below zero temperatures. Outlying areas in Dickinson country had lows as low as -40°. Herman in Baraga county and Wetmore in Alger county had low temperatures of -43° and Sault Ste. Marie had a low temperature of -30°.

1972 - The arctic air holds on for one more morning of record lows as Grand Rapids falls to -16° and Muskegon tumbles to -11°.

1994 – A blast of bitter cold air on this day as Grand Rapids ties the record low of -16° set in 1972. Flint observes a daily record of -14° and Alpena a record -28°. For Alpena this is the coldest temperature ever recorded in January.

2009 - A reinforcing Arctic cold front moving across Upper Michigan brought more lake effect snow to the northwest wind snow belts from the 14th into the 16th. Wind chill values also plummeted to 20 to 40 below zero from late evening on the 13th through the morning of the 16th. Observers in Ontonagon and four miles east of Silver City measured 12 inches of snow in 24 hours. Whiteout conditions were reported in Ontonagon throughout the period due to the combination of snow and blowing snow. Wind chill readings dipped to 25 to 35 below zero on the mornings of January 15th and 16th. Schools were closed throughout Ontonagon County on the 15th and Ewen Headstart remained closed on the 16th. An observer ten miles south of Grand Marais received nearly a foot of lake effect snowfall over a two-day period. Schools were closed throughout Alger County on the 15th and 16th due to poor visibility and adverse travel conditions from the combination of lake effect snow and blowing snow. Southeast Michigan was in the middle of a five day arctic outbreak. Detroit set a record reaching -15°. Flint was a low as -10°, while Saginaw was -6°.

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