The world’s northern-most pocket of Arctic air normally leans to one side of the globe or the other.The polar air pocket leaned toward parts of northern Europe and Russia in recent years, but this year it shifted toward North America, Schwartz said.
The daytime high- and low-temperature average this month is 4.3 degrees colder than the 22.6 degrees that’s normal in Traverse City as a result. The more-than 55 inches of snowfall thus far also zoomed by Traverse City’s average of 34.8 inches.
Schwartz said cold temperatures ramp up lake-effect snow, but there is a silver lining for those who’ve already had their fill of snow. Much of the Great Lakes could freeze over earlier than normal in 2014 if below-average temperatures continue. That will lead to less lake-effect snow.
“If we get ice cover on Lake Michigan, we lose the lake-effect snow machine,” Schwartz said.