You guessed it...an abnormally dry and "snowless" February.

And the theme of this winter kept right on trucking through the entire month of February as an unabated dry pattern remained entrenched across the majestic Northwoods.  The result, an exceedingly dry and relatively "snowless" last month of winter, with several locations making run at the record books.  The culprit behind this boring, dry weather was two-fold: 1st) maintenance of moderate to strong El Nino conditions across the tropical Pacific Ocean, which resulted in an active storm track well south and east of Northern Michigan (see record Mid-Atlantic snows!) and 2nd) persistent downstream high latitude blocking in the vicinity of Greenland (also know as a negative North Atlantic Oscillation), whiched allowed primarily dry east to northeast surface wind flow and limited lake enhancement opportunities to prevail.

 February Average Temperature Data:

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - Present)

Mean

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

 21.6

 15.6

 +6.0

 8th warmest

 29.1 / 1998

1.8 / 1904 

 

Houghton Lake (1917 - Present)

Mean

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

 22.1

19.9 

 +2.2

 N/A

 30.1 / 1998

 9.3 / 1936

 

Alpena (1917 - Present)

Mean

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

 22.4

 19.0

 +3.4

 N/A

 29.7 / 1998

 7.7 / 1934

 

Traverse City (1896 - Present)

Mean

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

 24.4

 21.9

+2.5 

N/A 

 29.6 / 1954

 9.2 / 1979

 

Gaylord (1952 - Present)

Mean

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

 19.2

 19.6

-0.4 

 N/A

 29.9 / 1998

 9.6 / 1963

  February Precipitation Data:

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - Present)

Precipitation

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

 0.30

 1.60

 -1.30

 3rd driest

 3.74 / 1971

 0.21 / 1993

 

Houghton Lake (1917 - Present)

Precipitation

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

0.38 

 1.25

 -0.87

 6th driest

 3.36 / 1971

 0.29 / 1982

 

Alpena (1917 - Present)

Precipitation

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

 0.70

 1.35

-0.65 

13th driest 

 4.93 / 1922

 0.12 / 1982

 

Traverse City (1896 - Present)

Precipitation

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

 1.07

 1.79

-0.72 

 N/A

 5.56 / 1996

 0.28 / 1998

 

Gaylord (1952 - Present)

Precipitation

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

 0.29

 2.10

 -1.81

 1st Driest

 3.60 / 1971

 0.29 / 2010

   

February Snowfall Data:

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - Present)

Snowfall

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Snowiest/Year

Record Least Snow/Year

 7.2

19.5 

 -12.3

15th least snowiest 

 39.5 / 1968

 2.2 / 1901

 

Houghton Lake (1917 - Present)

Snowfall

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Snowiest/Year

Record Least Snow/Year

 5.2

 12.3

 -7.1

 tied 4th least snowiest

 25.3 / 1959

 2.1 / 1937

 

Alpena (1917 - Present)

Snowfall

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Snowiest/Year

Record Least Snow/Year

 11.8

16.5 

 -4.7

N/A 

 35.3 / 2006

 3.6 / 1982

 

Traverse City (1896 - Present)

Snowfall

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Snowiest/Year

Record Least Snow/Year

 12.3

 18.9

 -6.6

N/A 

 47.5 / 1995

 3.0 / 1899

 

Gaylord (1952 - Present)

Snowfall

Average

Departure

Ranking*

Record Snowiest/Year

Record Least Snow/Year

 9.1

24.1 

-15.0 

 2nd least snowiest

 58.0 / 2006

 4.0 / 1998

 

( ) = Consistent years of record

* = only rankings in the top 20 will be entered

Midwest Regional Climate Center February Discussion

Latest El Nino Trends              Large Scale Atmospheric Blocking Features


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