By JIM ANDERSON
IRON MOUNTAIN - This year's winter might be colder than normal in the central Upper Peninsula.
Light snow dusts the ground where Shyanne Stafford of Kingsford walks up South Kimberly Avenue on Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service says a year-long trend of above normal temperatures in the Upper Peninsula may be coming to an end as winter approaches.
The newest long-range forecast from the National Weather Service calls for a greater than climatological chance of below normal three-month average temperatures over west and central Upper Michigan from December through February, said Kevin Crupi, weather service meteorologist at Marquette.
Normal precipitation trends are predicted.
At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, October marked a reversal from a year-long trend of warm and dry weather.
The average temperature last month was 44.1 degrees, which was 0.9 degrees below normal. Water-equivalent precipitation totaled 3.69 inches, which was 0.55 inches above normal. The precipitation included a trace of snowfall, which was 0.3 inches below normal.
"A number of large-scale low-pressure systems and their attendant warm and cold fronts impacted the Great Lakes during October," Crupi said. "The result was above normal precipitation at most spots."
The highest temperature at Iron Mountain-Kingsford was 73 degrees on Oct. 1. The lowest was 21 degrees on Oct. 28. The 1.44 inches of rain that fell on Oct. 25 was a record for that date.
Most locations in the Upper Peninsula picked up at least four inches or more of water-equivalent precipitation during October, Crupi said.
Munising reported 6.06 inches in October, while the only places that measured less than three inches were in Iron County, farther from the influence of Lake Superior. Despite the cool, wet weather in October, the first 10 months of 2012 overall were much warmer and drier than normal, said Crupi. At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, the January through October period was the second-warmest and 15th-driest on record.
The average temperature over the 10 months was 49.6 degrees, which was four degrees above normal. The record warmth of 50.4 degrees was set in 1921.
Precipitation from January through October totaled 20.81 inches, which was 5.42 inches below normal.
Statistics for the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Wastewater Treatment Plant cooperative observer site are based on records that began in March 1931. Any data listed from years before 1931 were taken at nearby sites. Normals used are for the period 1981 through 2010.
Some other temperature and precipitation observations across the U.P. in October:
- Ironwood, average temperature 41.8 degrees, precipitation 3.73 inches, snowfall 1.8 inches.
- Big Bay, average temperature 45.3 degrees, precipitation 3.43 inches, snowfall 0.4 inches.
- Marquette, average temperature 47.4 degrees, precipitation 4.54 inches, snowfall trace.
- Munising, average temperature 45 degrees, precipitation 6.06 inches, snowfall trace.
- Newberry, average temperature 45.4 degrees, precipitation 5.41 inches, snowfall trace.
- Iron River, average temperature 40.9 degrees, precipitation 2.97 inches, snowfall 0.8 inches.
- Amasa, average temperature 41.9 degrees, precipitation 2.37 inches, snowfall 0.2 inches.
- Garden Corners, average temperature 44 degrees, precipitation 4.3 inches, snowfall trace.
- Manistique, average temperature 44.9 degrees, precipitation 4.41 inches, snowfall trace.
Jim Anderson's email address is email@example.com.