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The Extreme Cold of Winter

A stream at Historic Mill Creek.

Here on the shores of the Straits of Mackinac we usually are protected from the really hot summer temperatures and the very cold winter temperatures that are recorded in those parts of Michigan that are more than a few miles from the deep waters of the Great Lakes.

A scene from last spring with the blue ice on the shore of Lake Huron.

These big lakes act like giant sponges holding and releasing their warmth much slower than the thousands of smaller Michigan lakes. In the spring and early summer, the state’s coolest air temperatures are usually found along the Great Lakes shorelines, but in the fall and early winter the state’s warmest air temps are also found near these shorelines.

The beginning of this winter has been relatively mild in the Straits of Mackinac area. Not much snow and not many days of bitter cold. However, it looks like winter has finally arrived. Air temperatures are now holding in the teens and twenties, with even colder temps just around the corner. Ice is beginning to cover much of the Straits, and the ski and snowmobile trails are getting more traffic.

Fort Mackinac.

For those of us who enjoy outdoor winter activities, this is presently the right place to be. The good news for those of us who prefer summer outdoor activities: the days are already getting longer. Next week we will gain approximately two minutes of daylight each day, and that pace will pick up during the next couple of months. So while it’s going to be bitter cold this coming weekend, summer really isn’t too far away.

Colonial Michilimackinac in winter.

Be sure to take part in some fun winter activity while the season lasts (even in the extreme cold)!