U.P. free of drought; normal weather predicted this autumn

IRON MOUNTAIN – Drought is severe across 20 percent of the continental United States – mostly west of the Mississippi River – but there is no drought in the Upper Peninsula or northeastern Wisconsin, according to climate observers.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows dry conditions across much of the U.S. west of the Mississippi and south of the Canadian border states. In addition, most of Illinois is dry along with portions of southern and western Wisconsin.

Drought is severe in southeastern Iowa, northernmost Missouri, western Nebraska and Kansas, southern Idaho, southeastern Oregon, northwestern Utah, parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, and nearly all of Nevada and California. The worst drought is in California and Nevada, where some regions show extreme conditions.

At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, despite a dry September, precipitation has been above normal since the start of spring. Water-equivalent precipitation from March through September measured 22.47 inches, which was 1.61 inches above average, said Kevin Crupi, weather service meteorologist at Marquette.

It has been much wetter at a few other locations, Crupi added. Ironwood received 38.21 inches of precipitation from March through September, a new record for that period. Newberry recorded 25.66 inches, the fifth-highest on record.

The long-range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center calls for normal temperature and precipitation trends across the Upper Peninsula for the three-month period from November through January.

For September, Iron Mountain-Kingsford showed 2.17 inches of rain, which was 1.45 inches below normal. The average temperature was 58.5 degrees, which was 0.9 inches above normal.

No daily or monthly records were established in September, Crupi noted. The highest temperature was 87 degrees on Sept. 7 and the lowest was 33 degrees on Sept. 27.

“A very changeable upper pattern dominated the Great Lakes in September, with alternating periods of warmer and cooler weather accompanying the passage of the transient upper ridges and troughs,” Crupi said. “Despite this progressive pattern that often results in active weather, most of Upper Michigan measured below normal rainfall.”

Statistics for the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Wastewater Treatment Plant cooperative observer site are based on records that began in 1931. Normals used are for the period 1981 through 2010.

Some other temperature and precipitation observations across the Upper Peninsula in September:

– Ironwood, average temperature 57.2 (1.5 degrees above normal), precipitation 1.8 inches (2.26 inches below normal).

– Copper Harbor, average temperature 58 degrees, precipitation 2.12 inches.

– Big Bay, average temperature 57.6 degrees, precipitation 0.97 inches.

– Marquette, average temperature 59.8 (0.4 degrees above normal), precipitation 2.56 inches (0.60 inch below normal).

– Munising, average temperature 56.3 (1 degree below normal), precipitation 3.04 inches (1.03 inches below normal).

– Newberry, average temperature 56.8 (0.3 degrees below normal), precipitation 2.63 inches (1.18 inches below normal).

– Iron River, average temperature 53.9 degrees, precipitation 2.08 inches.

– Norway, average temperature 58.3 degrees, precipitation 1.36 inches.

– Escanaba, average temperature 56.2 degrees, precipitation 1.85 inches.

– Garden Corners, average temperature 55.9 degrees, precipitation 4.49 inches.

– Manistique, average temperature 56.0 (1 degree below normal) precipitation 3.07 inches (0.69 inches below normal).

Jim Anderson’s email address is janderson@ironmountaindailynews.com.