Hotter weather may be ahead—weather service


News Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN – The drought is over. Summer might be hot.

The latest statistics and predictions from the National Weather Service indicate a return to normal weather patterns for now, following an unusually wet and cool start to spring.

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts normal weather patterns through the end of June, but a greater than climatological chance of above normal temperatures for the three-month period from July through September.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows no drought across the entire Upper Peninsula and bordering Wisconsin communities. Conditions are abnormally dry in the southwest corner of Vilas County and the west half of Oneida County in Wisconsin, which are the nearest drought areas.

“April featured an active weather pattern with several late season winter storms and above to well above normal precipitation and snowfall over much of Upper Michigan,” said Kevin Crupi, weather service meteorologist at Marquette. “Most places reported three to six inches of water equivalent precipitation in April, or up to 250 to 275 percent of normal.”

At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, water equivalent precipitation measured 3.69 inches, which was 1.33 inches above normal. That made it the 15th-wettest April on record, Crupi said.

It was, to boot, the seventh-coldest April. Temperatures averaged 36.1 degrees, a brisk 5.4 degrees below normal.

“Because the chilly pattern ensured a good deal of the precipitation fell as snow, monthly snowfall was also well above average, especially where the heavier precipitation was reported across the west and north-central U.P.,” Crupi said.

There was record April snowfall at both Ironwood (44.9 inches) and Houghton (35.1 inches). At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, April’s snowfall total was eight inches, which was 3.4 inches above normal and the 20th highest on record.

The lowest temperature last month at Iron Mountain-Kingsford was 10 degrees on April 3 and the highest was 74 degrees on April 30.

“Almost every day in April was colder or even much colder than normal through April 25,” Crupi noted. At the National Weather Service station in Negaunee Township, the snow depth of 30 inches on April 25 set a record for the latest occurrence of that much snow on the ground, he added.

Statistics for the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Waster Treatment Plant cooperative observer site are based on records that began in March 1931 (along with data from years before 1931 taken at nearby sites). Normals used are for the period 1981 through 2010.

Some other temperature and precipitation observations across the U.P. in April:

– Ironwood, average temperature 30.9 (8.4 degrees below normal), precipitation 6.53 inches (3.89 inches above normal), snowfall 44.9 inches (33.5 inches above normal).

– Baraga, average temperature 32.7 degrees, precipitation 4.6 inches, snowfall 26 inches.

– Marquette, average temperature 35.6 (4.5 degrees below normal), precipitation 3.97 inches (1.52 inches above normal), snowfall 13.4 inches (5.9 inches above normal)

– Munising, average temperature 33.8 (5.2 degrees below normal), precipitation 4.13 inches (1.93 inches above normal), snowfall 17.9 inches (10.3 inches above normal).

– Newberry, average temperature 35.0 (4.9 degrees below normal), precipitation 3.20 inches (0.98 inches above normal), snowfall 23.8 inches (16.7 inches above normal).

– Iron River, average temperature 30.9 degrees, precipitation 4.24 inches, snowfall 10 inches.

– Norway, average temperature 36.5 degrees, precipitation 3.44 inches, snowfall 10.4 inches.

– Garden Corners, average temperature 34.9 degrees, precipitation 2.82 inches, snowfall 9.6 inches.

– Manistique, average temperature 34.3 (4.7 degrees below normal), precipitation 2.35 inches (0.04 inches above normal), snowfall 11.0 inches (8.4 inches above normal).

Jim Anderson’s email address is