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Storm brings welcomed moisture, white Christmas

Colder winter ahead — experts

December 24, 2012
The Daily News


News Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN - The snow storm that hit the Upper Peninsula last week was welcomed by many area residents.

Article Photos

Theresa Peterson/Daily News Photo
Bill Morrison shovels snow outside his home on West C Street in Iron Mountain.

It guaranteed a white Christmas, and brought with it much-needed moisture.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is showing moderate drought in some areas of Dickinson and Iron counties and abnormally dry conditions elsewhere in the south-central Upper Peninsula.

Similar conditions are reported to the south in Florence and Marinette counties.

According to the National Weather Service, the first 11 months of 2012 ranked as the third-warmest and the 10th-driest on record at Iron Mountain-Kingsford.

The mean temperature over that span was 48 degrees, which was 3.6 degrees above normal and just shy of the record of 48.4 degrees set in 1921.

Water equivalent precipitation from January through November measured 22.17 inches, which was six inches below normal. The driest such period was in 1989, when the total was 19.48 inches.

The long-range forecast calls for a greater than climatological chance of below normal temperatures over the west half of the U.P. from December through February, but normal precipitation trends, said Kevin Crupi, weather service meteorologist at Marquette.

November was warmer and drier than normal, with record highs reached at several spots in the U.P. on Thanksgiving Day.

"Although the weather over the upper Great Lakes during the first and last weeks of November was dominated by an upper trough and colder

Canadian airmasses, conditions were so warm during the middle of the month when an upper ridge predominated that the mean November temperature across Upper Michigan ended up between 0.5 and 1.5 degrees above the 30-year normal at most locations," Crupi said.

At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, the average temperature in November was 33 degrees, which was one degree above normal. The highest temperature was 62 degrees on Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving Day), shattering the record for that date. The previous mark was 56 degrees in 1963.

The lowest temperature last month was 8 degrees on Nov. 27.

Precipitation in November totaled 1.36 inches, which was 0.58 inches below normal. That total included 2.2 inches of snowfall, which was 3.7 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 November:

- Ironwood, average temperature 31.0 (1.2 degrees above normal), precipitation 2.41 inches (0.29 inch below normal), snowfall 21.4 inches (3.1 inches below normal).

- Copper Harbor, average temperature 34.5 degrees, precipitation 2.66 inches, snowfall 12.1 inches.

- Marquette, average temperature 36.5 (1.7 degrees above normal), precipitation 1.63 inches (0.99 inches below normal), snowfall 7.2 inches (3.7 inches below normal).

- Munising, average temperature 34.3 (0.3 degrees above normal), precipitation 3.55 inches (0.19 inches below normal), snowfall 21.4 inches (0.8 inches below normal).

- Newberry, average temperature 34.9 (1 degree above normal), precipitation 1.75 inches (1.21 inches below normal), snowfall 10.7 inches (3.4 inches below normal).

- Iron River, average temperature 30.4 degrees, precipitation 1.33 inches, snowfall seven inches

- Amasa, average temperature 31 degrees, precipitation 1.45 inches, snowfall 7.5 inches.

- Norway, average temperature 33.9 degrees, precipitation 1.09 inches, snowfall 2.5 inches.

- Garden Corners, average temperature 35 degrees, precipitation 1.92 inches, snowfall 7.2 inches.

- Manistique, average temperature 35.3 (0.8 degrees above normal), precipitation 1.11 inches (1.29 inches below normal), snowfall four inches (0.5 inches below normal).

Jim Anderson's email address is



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