Long-range weather forecasters are beginning to release their earliest looks at the winter ahead, and it looks like it might be a winter to remember in much of Michigan.

The Game 730 WVFN-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

El Niño Is Back

One of the biggest factors expected to influence the winter of 2023-24 in Michigan is the reemergence of El Niño. According to the National Weather Service, the climate pattern known as El Niño occurs when water temperatures near the equator in the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean become warmer than normal. Forecasters are in strong agreement that a moderate El Niño will be present by late fall, with a better-than-even chance that it will grow into a strong El Niño.

Photo via Canva
Photo via Canva

What does this mean?

The good folks at the Old Farmers Almanac put it pretty bluntly:

Broadly speaking, this weather phenomena (El Niño) leads to a winter season which is snowier and colder than average across the U.S. and Canada.


Polar Vortex Likely to Plunge Michigan Temps This Winter

The forecasters at Direct Weather believe the entire eastern half of the United States is likely to experience colder than normal temperatures as a result of the weather patterns shaping up - including Michigan.

RELATED: Every Lake in Michigan Has Frozen Over At Least Once - Except This One

Direct Weather believes El Niño is likely to cause above normal temps to set up in the western United States, setting up a scenario where much colder air will be ushered into the eastern U.S. from Canada on a regular basis.

Photo via Canva
Photo via Canva

Michigan and Wisconsin are the only two states that are fully in Direct Weather's zone of highest confidence for brutally cold temps this winter. Southeastern Lower Michigan is expected to experience multiple Arctic blasts, while the rest of the state contends with the effects of the Polar Vortex, which historically can mean temps that plunge well below zero.

Check out Direct Weather's video below, outlining their preliminary expectations for the winter of 2023-24.

Earliest First Snowfall Dates for Michigan Cities

Snow doesn't typically begin to pile-up in most of Michigan until November or December, but not all years are typical. Here's a look at the earliest snowfall ever recorded for several Michigan cities, according to ExtremeWeatherWatch.com.