ESCANABA - Because of the low temperatures, Escanaba Public Safety is warning residents who plan to attend the Escanaba Christmas parade tonight at 7 p.m. on Ludington Street to come prepared for the weather.
During the parade temperatures around 12 degrees and westerly winds around 13 miles per hour are expected. The combination of wind and ambient temperatures will create conditions that feel like -8 degrees and are dangerous for prolonged exposure.
According to Dave Petrovich, forecaster for the National Weather Service's Marquette office, the best plan for dealing with cold temperatures is to dress in layers when venturing outside.
"If you're outside dressing in layers is better than one heavy coat especially if you're working," said Petrovich. People who will be physically active in the cold should take care not to exert themselves to the point of sweating, which will further drop body temperatures, he added.
The cold snap that gripped the area came on suddenly Thursday night. According to the National Weather Service, the overnight low Thursday night and Friday morning in Escanaba was 3 degrees - a 40 degree drop from the high temperature seen Thursday around sunrise.
The sudden temperature drop was caused by a high pressure system in the northwest and a low pressure system from the northeast meeting.
"What that gives us is a northwesterly wind that brings the cold air down (from Canada)," said Petrovich.
For the rest of today temperatures are expected to remain in the teens and single digits. High temperatures are predicted around 16 degrees with westerly winds dropping wind chill values between -10 and zero degrees. Tonight the overnight temperature will drop even further to a low around 3 degrees, however, wind chill values should remain similar to those seen during the daytime hours.
While still dangerous for long-term exposure, these temperatures are not record breaking. The record low for today of -4 degrees was recorded in 1972.
This week's cold snap is expected to continue through Tuesday with high temperatures remaining in the teens and low 20s, and below zero wind chills.
"You want to watch yourself especially with that wind chill. It'll sneak up on you," said Petrovich.
Saturday is expected to be sunny with a high near 12 degrees, but westerly winds between traveling between 10 and 15 could drop the wind chill as low as -15 below. In the overnight hours temperatures could hover around zero.
Sunday temperatures will rise to the mid to upper teens, and snow is expected Sunday into Monday. Temperatures are expected to drop from their high around 21 degrees Monday to -2 degrees Monday night. Tuesday temperatures between 5 degrees and the lower teens are expected.