TRAVERSE CITY -- It seems to Bill Lancaster that his furnace hasn’t stopped running all winter.
“(The weather) seems much more extreme than it has ever been,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster and the rest of northern Michigan should brace themselves for more near-zero temperatures beginning on Sunday.
Yet another bout of arctic wind will slash through the area for the next seven to 10 days, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Boguth.
“This is just cold air jumping right out of Canada, coming basically right out of the North Pole,” Boguth said. “It’s just a nice tap of arctic air right now.”
The frigid air will come in Sunday and bring temperatures about 10 degrees below average, with highs in the low teens and lows in the single digits.
Temperatures could drop below zero in Kalkaska and Antrim Counties, which have fewer lake effect clouds to insulate them, Boguth said.
Typically, cold northern winds are warmed by the Great Lakes as they travel south. But now the lakes are ice-covered north of Beaver Island, and the air doesn’t touch the warmer water.
“You lose the ability for the lakes to warm the air mass,” Boguth said.
Local officials are more concerned about the practical matter of clearing roads.
The Grand Traverse County sheriff's department has a message for motorists: make way for snow plows.
Sheriff's Capt. Chris Clark said deputies are handing out $85 tickets for vehicles parked on the road or shoulder between 12 a.m. and 8 a.m. or during snow emergencies. He said the county ordinance, which spans Dec. 1 to March 31, is designed to create clear lanes of travel for snow plows.
Grand Traverse County Road Commission Manager Jim Cook said plow truck drivers could report vehicles they see in violation of the ordinance. He acknowledged snow plows may block some cars from driveways, but the plow drivers are just trying to keep the roads clear for everyone.
"I tell people to be a good neighbor," he said.
Cook said homeowners should avoid plowing or shoveling snow into roads, an unsafe practice that caused a road commission plow truck to flip on Center Road in Peninsula Township last week. He said the driver hit a snowbank about 8 feet tall in the right-of-way.
"There's a misconception if you put it on the road, then somehow our trucks will make it go away," he said.
Road commission workers soon will put up fluorescent orange placards that remind home and property owners to point their shovels and snow blowers away from the road.