Annual Climatological Summary for Flint - 2002
(also includes data for Saginaw)

Written by: William R. Deedler, Weather Historian
January 13th, 2003
  • EXCEPTIONALLY DRY YEAR PLACES FOURTH DRIEST SINCE 1942
  • WARM WINTER AND HOT SUMMER HELPS MAKES 2002 THE 9TH WARMEST YEAR

THE MOST NOTABLE OVERALL WEATHER TREND DURING 2002 WAS ITS FAIRLY PERSISTENT DRY WEATHER. RAINFALL ACROSS THE FLINT AREA...NORTH INTO SAGINAW AND THUMB REGION AVERAGED WELL BELOW NORMAL. FLINT'S ANNUAL PRECIPITATION OF 22.28 INCHES PALED IN COMPARISON TO WHAT ON AVERAGE FALLS /31.61 INCHES/ AND THEREFORE...WAS 9.33 BELOW THE NORM. SAGINAW'S RAINFALL TOTAL OF 22.52 WAS ALSO OVER NINE INCHES /9.09/ BELOW NORMAL AND RESULTED IN THE 8TH DRIEST YEAR ON RECORD SINCE 1900.

THE YEAR OF 2002 ALSO TURNED OUT TO BE ANOTHER WARM YEAR ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 49.1 (ROUNDED OFF FROM 49.06) AND WAS +2.3 ABOVE NORMAL IN FLINT WHICH MADE 2002 THE 9TH WARMEST YEAR ON RECORD SINCE 1942. THIS COMING AFTER 2001 MADE THE THIRD SPOT FOR WARMEST YEARS ON RECORD WITH A 49.3 DEGREE AVERAGE. SAGINAW'S AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 47.4 (ROUNDED OFF FROM 47.43) WAS ONLY + 0.4 OF A DEGREE ABOVE NORMAL (BUT A NOTABLY LESSER OF A DEPARTURE THAN THAT OF FLINT OR DETROIT).

THE YEAR STARTED WITH AN ABNORMALLY WARM WINTER...PLACING SECOND FOR WARMEST WINTERS ON RECORD. IN SPITE OF THE WARM WINTER... SNOWFALL PLACED AROUND NORMAL AT FLINT...TO EVEN ABOVE IN THE SAGINAW VALLEY. FLINT'S SNOWFALL CAME IN AT 40.4 INCHES FOR THE WINTER OF 2001-02... OR JUST 4.7 BELOW THE NORM /45.1/. IN SPITE OF A WINTER AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 30.6...WHICH WAS 6.6 ABOVE NORMAL... SAGINAW'S SNOWFALL OF 55.8 WAS STILL NEARLY TEN INCHES /9.8/ ABOVE THE NORM /46.0/.

SPRINGTIME DID AN ABOUT-FACE FROM WINTER WITH INHABITANTS OF SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN EXPERIENCING A COOLER (AND WETTER) SPRING THAN ON AVERAGE. MAY TURNED OUT TO BE QUITE COLD WITH THE TEMPERATURE AVERAGING ONLY AROUND 50 DEGREES THROUGH THE 26TH (SECOND COLDEST MAY ON RECORD UP TO THAT POINT). A WARMING TREND INTO THE 80S THE LAST FEW DAYS PUSHED THE AVERAGE UP TO 53.1...OR THE 11TH COLDEST MAY ON RECORD. SPRINGTIME WAS THE ONLY SEASON THAT PRECIPITATION ACTUALLY AVERAGED ABOVE NORMAL...BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY WITH 8.45 INCHES FALLING AND JUST .36 OF AN INCH ABOVE NORMAL.

MOTHER NATURE DID AN ABOUT-FACE ONCE AGAIN DURING THE SUMMER WITH PLENTY OF HEAT AND HUMIDITY. WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 71.7... THE SUMMER OF 2002 BECAME THE SEVENTH HOTTEST SUMMER ON RECORD. DRIER WEATHER ALSO RETURNED WITH THE HEAT...ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE FLINT AREA WHERE ONLY 6.62 INCHES OF RAIN FELL (-3.05 BELOW NORMAL) WHICH MADE IT THE 8TH DRIEST SUMMER ON RECORD.

NICE AUTUMN WEATHER WAS SHORT-LIVED AROUND THESE PARTS (CONTRARY TO THE PAST SEVERAL AUTUMNS) WITH MID OCTOBER PRETTY MUCH THE CUT-OFF POINT. AFTER...THE GOOD AUTUMN WEATHER STARTED TO DETERIORATE WITH WINTER ARRIVING EARLIER (MID NOVEMBER) THAN THE PAST SEVERAL WINTERS. THE YEAR ENDED THE OPPOSITE IT BEGAN WITH GENERALLY COLDER THAN NORMAL WEATHER.


***JANUARY 2002***

  • WINTER STORM AT JANUARY'S CLOSE BRINGS A DOSE OF REALITY
  • SECOND WARMEST JANUARY (TIED WITH 1989) ON RECORD SINCE 1942
  • TWO RECORD HIGHS SET LATE IN THE MONTH
  • DESPITE ITS WARMTH...13TH SNOWIEST JANUARY ON RECORD

RESIDENTS OF SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN WILL REMEMBER JANUARY'S WEATHER FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS BUT BY FAR THE MOST MEMORABLE WAS THE STORM AT ITS CLOSE (30TH-31ST). WHAT IS EVEN MORE EXTRAORDINARY...THE STORM CAME AFTER RECORD WARMTH JUST A FEW DAYS EARLIER AND AN OVERALL VERY MILD JANUARY (BUT MORE ABOUT THAT LATER)...

THE "STORM" ACTUALLY HIT WITH A ONE-TWO PUNCH ACROSS THE FLINT AREA... NORTH INTO THE SAGINAW VALLEY AND THUMB REGION. THE SYNOPTIC WEATHER PATTERN WAS AS FOLLOWS: A NEARLY STATIONARY POLAR FRONT EXTENDED FROM CENTRAL OHIO/INDIANA...SOUTH SOUTHWEST INTO THE EASTERN TEXAS/ARKANSAS REGION. THE FIRST "PUNCH" BEGAN TO MAKE ITS PRESENCE KNOWN LATE ON THE 30TH. SNOW SPREAD NORTHEAST ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN AS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE CLIMBED UP THE FRONT INTO INDIANA AND OHIO. THE SYSTEM WAS AIDED BY A VERY GOOD MOISTURE SUPPLY FROM A SUB-TROPICAL JET AS IT TRACKED TOWARD THE REGION. THE SNOW ACCUMULATED RAPIDLY DURING THE VERY EARLY MORNING HOURS AND BY LATE MORNING (31ST)...A THICK BLANKET OF HEAVY...WET SNOW SMOTHERED THE AREA. THE HEAVIEST SNOW FELL ACROSS SHIAWASSEE... GENESEE AND LAPEER COUNTIES. HIGHEST SNOWFALLS TOTALS INCLUDED: NEARLY A FOOT /11 INCHES/ IN THE FLINT/DAVISON AREA... 10 INCHES IN BYRON AND LAPEER...WITH 9 INCHES IN FRANKENMUTH. FURTHER NORTH IN THE SAGINAW VALLEY AND THUMB REGION...GENERALLY 4 TO 9 INCHES FELL WITH 8 INCHES IN AKRON AND CARO....6 INCHES IN SAGINAW...VASSAR AND SANDUSKY...WITH 4 INCHES AT PORT HOPE. IN ADDITION...LIGHT FREEZING RAIN/DRIZZLE COVERED THE SNOW AND CREATED MORE PROBLEMS...ESPECIALLY FOR TRAVELERS. HOWEVER...ON THE WHOLE...THE FREEZING RAIN WAS NOT AS HEAVY OR DESTRUCTIVE AS WHAT FELL FURTHER SOUTH...ESPECIALLY IN AND AROUND METRO DETROIT AND THE ANN ARBOR AREA.

LATER THAT DAY (31ST)...THE SECOND "PUNCH" CAME AS A SECOND LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM ONCE AGAIN MOVED UP ALONG THE FRONT AND PUSHED FREEZING RAIN/ DRIZZLE BACK INTO THE REGION TOWARD MIDNIGHT. THIS TIME AROUND... HOWEVER...THIS STORM ALSO PUSHED MILDER AIR AHEAD OF IT AND BY THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF FEBRUARY 1ST...THE FREEZING RAIN/DRIZZLE CHANGED OVER TO JUST LIGHT RAIN/DRIZZLE IN MOST OF THE AREAS. TEMPERATURES ROSE INTO THE LOWER TO MID 30S ACROSS THE REGION. HOWEVER...ANOTHER DOWNSIDE TO THIS STORM WAS THE VERY STRONG GUSTY WINDS IN ITS WAKE ON FEBRUARY 1ST.

WHILE THE BIG STORM LATE IN THE MONTH DETRACTED FROM THE OVERALL MONTH'S PLEASANT MILD WEATHER...JANUARY DID CONTINUE THE TREND OF THE PAST THREE MONTHS WITH WELL ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES. LIKE NOVEMBER'S TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE /+7.2/ AND DECEMBER'S /+6.9/...JANUARY'S MILD WEATHER ENLARGED THAT ABOVE NORMAL DEPARTURE WITH AN INCREDIBLE +9.6 DEPARTURE. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 30.9 DEGREES FOR JANUARY MADE IT THE SECOND WARMEST JANUARY ON RECORD SINCE 1942. THE ONLY OTHER TIME JANUARY WAS WARMER (SINCE 1942) WAS BACK IN 1990 WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 31.8 DEGREES. THE STORM LATE IN THE MONTH MORE THAN MADE UP FOR LACK OF SNOW EARLIER AND THE WELL ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURE/ SNOWFALL COMBINATION IS NOT A COMMON ONE BY ANY MEANS. THIS IS EVEN MORE OUTSTANDING WHEN ONE CONSIDERS JUST HOW MILD AND RATHER BENIGN JANUARY'S WEATHER WAS FOR THE MOST PART. JANUARY FREQUENTLY RESEMBLED MARCH WITH IT'S EARLY SPRING-LIKE DAYS. THE UNSEASONABLY MILD WEATHER FOR JANUARY BASICALLY CAME IN TWO WAVES DURING THE SECOND AND FOURTH WEEK. TEMPERATURES DURING THE FIRST SEVERAL DAYS OF THE MONTH STARTED OUT BELOW NORMAL BUT BY THE SECOND WEEK...HIGH TEMPERATURES FREQUENTLY PUSHED INTO THE 40S. AND...FROM THE 9TH THROUGH THE 16TH...TEMPERATURES AVERAGED A GOOD 13 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THE SECOND WAVE OF WARMTH WAS EVEN MORE PRONOUNCED AND PEAKED WITH RECORD HIGHS. FROM THE 22ND THROUGH THE 28TH...HIGH TEMPERATURES SURGED INTO THE 40S AND 50S IN ALL BUT ONE DAY. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR THAT STRETCH (22ND-28TH) CAME IN AT 40 DEGREES...OR A HUGE 19 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL /21/. DURING THE PERIOD...NOT ONLY WAS THE WEATHER QUITE BALMY (FOR JANUARY) BUT AGAIN LIKE IN THE SECOND WEEK...IT WAS ENHANCED BY A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF SUNSHINE. AT THE HEIGHT OF THE MILD WEATHER...A RECORD HIGH OF 56 WAS SET ON THE 27TH (OLD RECORD 52/1944). YET ANOTHER RECORD WAS SET THE FOLLOWING DAY ON THE 28TH WITH A HIGH OF 54 (OLD RECORD 51/1989). THIS TYPE OF WEATHER IS MORE IN-LINE WITH MID APRIL IN THESE PARTS. ALSO... THIS IS QUITE EXCEPTIONAL WHEN ONE CONSIDERS THAT HISTORICALLY...THE WARMTH COINCIDED WITH THE BOTTOM OF THE AVERAGE WINTER TEMPERATURE CYCLE.

LASTLY...WERE IT NOT FOR AFOREMENTIONED STORMY END...JANUARY WAS ON THE ROAD TO MAKE THE TOP 20 DRIEST JANUARIES WITH ONLY .75 FALLING UP UNTIL THE 30TH. THE BIG STORM ALSO MANAGED TO CHANGE A RATHER SNOWLESS MONTH (ONLY 6.7 HAD FALLEN BEFORE IT) TO THE 13TH SNOWIEST (TYING WITH JANUARY 1977) ON RECORD.


***FEBRUARY 2002***

  • SEVENTH WARMEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD IN FLINT
  • STORMY CONDITIONS AT FEBRUARY'S OPENING/CLOSE BELIES THE REST OF THE MONTH

THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY...LIKE THE PRECEDING WINTER MONTHS (DEC/JAN)... WILL GO DOWN IN THE WEATHER BOOKS AS ANOTHER UNSEASONABLY MILD MONTH ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN. IN FACT...TEMPERATURES HAVE AVERAGED WELL ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS THE REGION AS FAR BACK AS NOVEMBER. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR FEBRUARY OF 30 DEGREES PLACED THE MONTH IN SEVENTH PLACE FOR WARMEST FEBRUARY SINCE OFFICIAL RECORDS BEGAN IN 1942. SAGINAW'S AVERAGE TEMPERATURE 29.1 PLACED THIS FEBRUARY IN NINTH PLACE /TIED WITH 1983/ FOR WARMEST FEBRUARY SINCE 1900.

AS THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY OPENED...HOWEVER...IT WAS ANYTHING BUT TRANQUIL AND MILD AS THE STRONG WINTER STORM OF LATE JANUARY WAS IN THE PROCESS OF LEAVING TOWN. THE PATCHY FREEZING RAIN/DRIZZLE THAT HAD BEGUN THE NIGHT OF THE 31ST (JAN)...CHANGED OVER TO RAIN/DRIZZLE EARLY ON THE 1ST BEFORE CHANGING TO SNOW SHOWERS. EVEN THOUGH MAIN AREA OF PRECIPITATION LEFT DURING THE DAY...VERY STRONG WINDS WERE LEFT IN THE STORM'S WAKE WHICH CREATED PROBLEMS FOR TREES AND POWER LINES. WIND GUSTS INTO THE 40S MPH (46 MPH AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT) AND 30S MPH (37 MPH AT TRI-CITIES AIRPORT FOR SAGINAW) DOWNED SOME TREE BRANCHES AND WIRES JUST AS THE CLEAN-UP GOT UNDERWAY.

AFTER THE STORM...THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY SAW TEMPERATURES OSCILLATING ABOVE AND BELOW NORMAL BUT WITH A CALMER WEATHER PATTERN OVERALL. A WEAK CLIPPER-TYPE SYSTEM DEPOSITED SOME LIGHT SNOW OVER THE AREA ON 3RD-4TH. AS THE FIRST WEEK OF THE MONTH CLOSED...THE REMAINDER OF FEBRUARY WAS...LIKE MUCH OF THE WINTER...UNSEASONABLY MILD UNTIL NEAR ITS CLOSE. WITH TEMPERATURES FREQUENTLY WARMING INTO THE 40S AND EVEN SOME 50S...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE BY THE 25TH... HOVERED AROUND 31 DEGREES...OR OVER SEVEN DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. ALONG WITH THE MILD...EARLY SPRING-LIKE WEATHER THERE WAS A NOTABLE DRY AND FAIRLY NICE PERIOD WHICH RAN FROM THE 5TH THROUGH THE 18TH. ONLY A TENTH OF AN INCH OF PRECIPITATION FELL DURING THIS STRETCH ALONG WITH JUST .6 OF SNOW. HOWEVER...FROM THE 19TH-22ND...A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVING THROUGH THE CENTRAL GREAT LAKES PUT AN END TO THAT DRY SCENARIO WHEN IT DUMPED OVER AN INCH OF PRECIPITATION /1.05/ ON THE AREA...ALONG WITH GENERALLY AN INCH OF SNOW ON IT'S BACKSIDE.

AND...WHILE THE LAST WEEK OF THE MONTH PROVED TO BE MORE INTERESTING IT WAS AT THE SAME TIME...MORE TROUBLESOME AS A WINTER STORM TOOK AIM AT THE REGION. NOW INITIALLY...VERY MILD AIR DID SURGE NORTH AHEAD OF THE SYSTEM ON THE 24TH...BREAKING THE OLD RECORD HIGH AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT /55-1976/ BY TWO DEGREES /57/. BUT AS A POLAR BOUNDARY SLOWLY SLID EAST ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN LATE IN THE AFTERNOON ON THE 25TH...RAIN OVER THE AREA MIXED WITH AND THEN CHANGED TO A STEADY LIGHT SNOW. AS THE STORM APPROACHED FROM THE SOUTH...THE SNOW GREW HEAVIER OVERNIGHT INTO THE 26TH...LEAVING MAINLY 3 TO 6 INCHES OF SNOW BY LATE IN THE DAY. THE "SPRING-LIKE" AIR WAS RUDELY (BUT MORE REALISTICALLY) REPLACED WITH MORE "WINTER-TYPE" AIR OVER THE AREA ONCE AGAIN. BY THE WAY...THIS PATTERN OF LATE MONTH RECORD (OR NEAR RECORD) WARMTH FOLLOWED BY A WINTER STORM...IS STARTING TO BECOME A HABIT AS LATE JANUARY'S UNSEASONABLE WARMTH WAS ALSO FOLLOWED BY A WINTER STORM DURING THE LAST FEW DAYS OF THE MONTH.

INTERESTINGLY...IN SPITE OF BEING VERY MILD...FEBRUARY'S SNOWFALL ACROSS THE REGION WAS JUST A BIT BELOW NORMAL THANKS MAINLY TO OUR LATE MONTH STORM. THE 8.9 INCHES AT FLINT WAS JUST AN INCH BELOW THE AVERAGE... WHILE SAGINAW'S 10.1 INCHES FOR THE MONTH WAS ABOUT AVERAGE FOR FEBRUARY.


***MARCH 2002***

  • THE LION FREQUENTLY ROARED THROUGHOUT MARCH
  • IMPRESSIVE LATE SEASON ARCTIC SQUALL CAUSES DAMAGE THROUGHOUT SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN

THE INHABITANTS OF SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN WHO WONDERED WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COLD WINDS OF WINTER DURING THE WINTER OF 2001-02...WONDERED NO MORE AS SOME IMPRESSIVE LAST SEASON ARCTIC BLASTS SURGED THROUGH THE REGION. MARCH CLEARLY LIVED UP TO ITS REPUTATION OF STORMS AND WIND AS BOTH ROUTINELY VISITED THE AREA BRINGING RAIN...SNOW OR BOTH. THE PATTERN OF STRONG STORMS PUMPING UP UNSEASONABLY WARM AIR AHEAD OF THEM... ONLY TO BE FOLLOWED BY ARCTIC INTRUSIONS IN THEIR WAKE...BEGAN IN EARNEST LATE FEBRUARY AND CONTINUED RIGHT THROUGH MARCH. THESE STRONGLY CONFLICTING AIRMASSES RESULTED IN SOME NOTABLE TEMPERATURE SWINGS... STORMS AND WINDS.

THE FIRST WEEK OF MARCH CAME IN LIKE A COLD LION WITH MAINLY LIGHT AMOUNTS OF SNOW FALLING EVERYDAY AND ALL BUT ONE DAY OF IT... MEASURABLE. THE GLARING EXCEPTION WAS UP ACROSS THE SAGINAW VALLEY ON THE 2ND WHEN A SNOWSTORM MOVING ACROSS THAT AREA LEFT A SWATH OF HEAVY SNOW ACROSS PORTIONS OF SAGINAW...MIDLAND AND BAY COUNTIES. WHILE MOST LOCATIONS SOUTH OF A BAD AXE - OWOSSO LINE RECEIVED ONLY AN INCH OR TWO OF SNOW FROM THIS STORM...FURTHER NORTH IN SAGINAW...BAY CITY AND MIDLAND 6 TO 12 INCHES FELL. SEVEN INCHES WAS RECORDED AT TRI CITIES AIRPORT FOR SAGINAW...WHILE AROUND A FOOT WAS MEASURED IN MIDLAND. AFTER... THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF ARCTIC PLUNGES BLASTED THE AREA LATE ON THE 3RD INTO THE 4TH. HIGH TEMPERATURES THAT PUSHED UP INTO THE MID 30S EARLY ON THE 3RD...QUICKLY DROPPED INTO THE TEENS THE MORNING OF THE 4TH...THEN PRETTY MUCH HELD THERE DURING THE DAY. A HIGH OF 15 ON THE 4TH IN FLINT BROKE THE OLD RECORD LOW MAXIMUM FOR THE DATE OF 18 SET BACK IN 1960. MORNING LOWS ON THE 4TH FELL WELL DOWN INTO THE SINGLE DIGITS. THE TEMPERATURE PLUMMETED TO 1 ABOVE IN SAGINAW AND THAT WAS THE COLDEST TEMPERATURE RECORDED THIS WINTER SEASON. A LOW OF 7 DEGREES IN FLINT..THOUGH...WAS NOT THE COLDEST (A LOW OF 1 ON FEBRUARY 5TH WAS THE COLDEST THIS WINTER). A BITTER COLD WIND DROVE WIND CHILLS DOWN TO BELOW ZERO AND IT WAS ACCOMPANIED BY AN INCH OR TWO OF WIND BLOWN SNOW.

TEMPERATURES REVERSED COURSE EARLY IN THE SECOND WEEK...RISING UP INTO MAINLY THE 50S TO AROUND 60 ON THE 8-9TH. THIS WAS SHORT-LIVED... HOWEVER...AS A VERY STRONG ARCTIC FRONT SWEPT RAPIDLY EAST ACROSS THE REGION LATE ON THE 9TH...DROPPING TEMPERATURES DRAMATICALLY! THE BITTER COLD AIR FLOODED IN BEHIND A POWERHOUSE OF A STORM AS IT SURGED NORTHEAST FROM THE TEXAS/ARKANSAS AREA INTO THE LAKES REGION. THE STORM DEEPENED QUICKLY AS BALMY SOUTHERLY WINDS SURGED OUT AHEAD OF IT AND COLD ARCTIC AIR PLOWED IN BEHIND IT. A VERY INTENSE SQUALL LINE OF WIND AND SHOWERS DEVELOPED ALONG THE ARCTIC COLD FRONT ATTACHED TO THE INTENSE LOW AS IT PUSHED THROUGH THE AREA DURING THE AFTERNOON OF THE 9TH. AS THIS SQUALL PIVOTED FORCEFULLY NORTHEAST AT AROUND 55 MPH ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN...NEAR HURRICANE FORCE WINDS WERE FELT IN SOME AREAS /50-70 MPH/. WINDS GUSTED TO 51 MPH AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT WITH AN EVEN STRONGER WIND GUST OF 56 MPH REGISTERED AT TRI CITIES AIRPORT FOR SAGINAW. THE WIND TOPPLED OR UPROOTED NUMEROUS TREES...DOWNED COUNTLESS POWER LINES AND CAUSED POWER OUTAGES TO AROUND 150 THOUSAND ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS IN SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN. THEN...BY THE 13TH...TEMPERATURES ONCE AGAIN WARMED NICELY WITH HIGHS FLIRTING WITH 60 DEGREES.

AFTER MID-MONTH...HOWEVER...A DECIDED TURN TOWARD COLDER CONDITIONS TOOK HOLD AS A NORTHWESTERLY FLOW DOMINATED THE REST OF THE MONTH AND PUT A LID ON ANY STRONG WARM UP. THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING /20TH/ WAS ANYTHING BUT AS ANOTHER QUICK SHOT OF ARCTIC AIR HIT THE REGION ON THE 21ST-22ND AND AGAIN...THE FRIGID COLD BLEW INTO THE AREA ON STRONG WINDS. WINDS CHILLS DIPPED BELOW ZERO ON THE 22ND AS HIGH TEMPERATURES ONLY ROSE INTO THE MID 20S....ABOUT 20 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. THE DAYTIME HIGH OF 25 AT FLINT... LIKE THE 4TH...WAS ANOTHER RECORD LOW MAXIMUM FOR THE DATE.

TEMPERATURES DURING THE MONTH CYCLED FROM BELOW NORMAL TO ABOVE AND BACK BELOW AGAIN. THE STRONG COLD BLASTS ROUTINELY ERASED ANY ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURE DEPARTURES MANAGED DURING THE MONTH. IN THE END... MARCH AVERAGED BETTER THAN A DEGREE /1.3/ BELOW NORMAL IN FLINT WITH 32.4 DEGREES. UP IN SAGINAW...HOWEVER...THE MONTHLY MEAN TEMPERATURE OF 29.8 WAS NEARLY FOUR /3.7/ BELOW NORMAL. MONTHLY SNOWFALLS ACROSS THE REGION WERE QUITE VARIABLE WITH NEARLY 15 INCHES /14.9/ IN SAGINAW... BUT LESS THAN FIVE INCHES /4.7/ IN FLINT FOR ONE OF THE LIGHTER AMOUNTS IN ALL OF SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN.


***APRIL 2002***

  • IMPRESSIVE SUMMER-LIKE HEAT PRODUCES THREE RECORD HIGHS
  • 19TH WARMEST APRIL ON RECORD

THE BUSY STORM TRACK ESTABLISHED LATE WINTER CONTINUED THROUGH APRIL ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN. THE STRONG...AMPLIFIED JET STREAM SHOWED LITTLE SIGN OF ABATING AND CONTINUED TO BE QUITE PROGRESSIVE. A SURE SIGN OF SPRING IN SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN...HOWEVER...DID SHOW UP ON CUE...THE WET WEEKEND SYNDROME. ALL BUT ONE WEEKEND SINCE THE BEGINNING OF SPRING /MARCH 20TH/ HAVE HAD RAIN AND/OR SNOW ON AT LEAST ONE IF NOT BOTH DAYS...AND SOMETIMES IT WAS HEAVY PRECIPITATION (JUST THINK OF ALL THOSE MAY FLOWERS WE WILL ENJOY).

THE FIRST WEEK OF THE MONTH WAS RATHER COLD...WET AND RAW FOR EARLY APRIL. TEMPERATURES AVERAGED SEVEN DEGREES BELOW NORMAL AND RAIN OR SNOW FELL EVERY DAY. BY THE 8TH...NEARLY ONE AND A HALF INCHES /1.46/ OF RAIN HAD FALLEN...ALONG WITH THREE INCHES OF SNOW IN FLINT. FURTHER NORTH ACROSS THE SAGINAW VALLEY...SAGINAW RECEIVED SEVEN INCHES OF SNOW!

AFTER THE WINTER-LIKE BEGINNING...A COMPLETE ABOUT-FACE COMMENCED MID MONTH WITH SUMMER-LIKE HEAT PUSHING INTO THE REGION ON THE 15-19TH. WHILE THE HEAT WAS ON...THREE RECORD HIGHS WERE SET: 84/16TH (OLD 79/1976)... 87 ON THE 17TH (OLD 82/1976) AND 86 ON THE 18TH (OLD 82/1985). THE 87 DEGREES ON THE 17TH WAS ALSO THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED IN THE APRIL (ACTUALLY TIED WITH AN 87 ON 4/25/90) AND SO EARLY IN THE SPRING SEASON. BEFORE IT AND THE 15TH'S HIGH /84/...THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE SO EARLY IN THE SEASON WAS 82 AND WAS SET ON NUMEROUS DATES. INTERESTINGLY...WERE IT NOT FOR THE HEAT FROM THE 15-19TH...THE MONTH OF APRIL WOULD HAVE AVERAGED BELOW NORMAL

THE HEAT WAS BROKEN WHEN A STRONG COLD FRONT PLOWED ACROSS THE REGION LATE ON THE 18TH INTO EARLY ON THE 19TH. THIS FRONT DEVELOPED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS...A FEW SEVERE...MAINLY FROM THE FLINT AREA... NORTH INTO THE SAGINAW BAY AND THUMB REGION. REPORTS OF STRONG WINDS (IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH) AND UP TO AN INCH IN DIAMETER HAIL WERE RECEIVED IN BAY...MIDLAND...SAGINAW AND GENESEE COUNTIES. THE COLD AIR THAT FOLLOWED DROVE TEMPERATURES DOWN INTO THE 40S AND 30S ON THE 21ST-22ND. THE COLD WAS ACCOMPANIED BY LIGHT RAIN AND SNOW (1.4 INCHES OF SNOW FELL AT SAGINAW AND .1 OF AN INCH AT FLINT). AFTER THAT STRONG PUSH OF POLAR AIR INTO THE AREA...TEMPERATURES PRETTY MUCH REMAINED NEAR OR BELOW NORMAL THROUGH THE REST OF THE MONTH. THE REMAINING THIRD OF THE MONTH RETURNED TO THE COOL AND WET SCENARIO AS A SERIES OF LOW PRESSURES AND FRONTS QUICKLY TRAVERSED THE REGION. OVER THE LAST WEEKEND OF THE MONTH /27-28TH/...NEARLY A HALF OF AN INCH /.48/ OR RAIN FELL WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE 50S/30S.


***MAY 2002***

  • SECOND COLDEST MAY...THAT IS...UNTIL A LATE MONTH WARM UP BACKS IT UP TO 11TH COLDEST MAY SINCE 1942
  • IMPRESSIVE COLD SNAP MID MAY BRINGS RECORD LOWS...FROSTY MORNINGS AND EVEN SNOW FLURRIES
  • SEVERE WEATHER LATE MONTH BLEMISHES AN OTHERWISE QUIET MONTH
  • FREQUENT RAINFALL MAKES FOR THE 18TH WETTEST MAY

THE COLD AIR THAT LEFT SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN ALONE THROUGH MUCH OF THE WINTER MADE ITS PRESENCE KNOWN THROUGHOUT MAY (AND MUCH OF SPRING FOR THAT MATTER). THIS POLAR AIR HAD REFRIGERATED THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE WINTER UP IN NORTHERN CANADA AND THE NORTH POLE. OUR LAST SPRING MONTH...MAY...BY FAR CONTAINED THE BIGGEST BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE OF THE THREE MONTHS /MAR-MAY/. MAY...WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 53.1...PLACED THE MONTH IN 11TH PLACE FOR COLDEST MAY. THIS 11TH COLDEST MAY RANKING...HOWEVER...BY NO MEANS TELLS THE WHOLE STORY AS MUCH OF MAY (THROUGH THE 25TH) THE TEMPERATURE FLOATED AROUND 50 DEGREES (OR SECOND COLDEST MAY). THE COLDEST MAY ON RECORD OCCURRED NOT TOO LONG AGO IN 1997 WHEN THE TEMPERATURE AVERAGED A COOL 48.8. IN SAGINAW...THIS MAY WAS EVEN COLDER WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 52 DEGREES...OR 5.6 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. SAGINAW PLACED IN THE 12TH SPOT FOR COLDEST MAY BUT HERE AGAIN...THE COLD MAY STORY IS TEMPERED. LOOKING AT THE TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE 25TH...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN SAGINAW WAS DOWN AROUND 49 DEGREES. THIS AVERAGE TEMPERATURE BEATS THE OLD COLDEST MAY ON RECORD OF 49.8 /1924/ BY NEARLY A DEGREE!

THE WORST OF THE MAY'S COLD AND SUBSEQUENT BELOW NORMAL READINGS CAME AT A BAD TIME...JUST AS THE SPRING GROWING/GARDENING SEASON GOT UNDERWAY. THE MOST NOTABLE COLD SNAP OCCURRED FROM THE 17TH-21ST AND BROUGHT ALONG WITH IT SEVERAL RECORDS (AND SEVERAL FROST/FREEZES). A RECORD LOW OF 29 ON THE 19TH BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 32 SET BACK IN IN THE EARLY DAYS OF RECORD KEEPING...1945. NOT ONLY WAS THERE A RECORD LOW...BUT THREE RECORD LOW MAXIMUMS OCCURRED DURING THE FROSTY STRETCH. A HIGH OF 47 /17TH/ TIED THE OLD RECORD LOW MAXIMUM... WHILE A HIGH OF 48 ON THE 18TH BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 51 AND FINALLY... A HIGH OF ONLY 47 ON THE 20TH BROKE THE OLD RECORD /52/ BY FIVE DEGREES. IN ADDITION TO THE 29 ON THE 19TH...LOW TEMPERATURES FELL WELL DOWN INTO THE 30S FROM THE 17TH-22ND. DURING THIS TIME...SNOW FLURRIES WERE OBSERVED ON BOTH THE 18TH AND THE 20TH. THE LAST TIME SNOW WAS OBSERVED IN MAY WAS BACK ON MAY 1ST, 1994 WHEN .2 FELL. FURTHER NORTH IN SAGINAW... MEASURABLE SNOW SHOWERS ACTUALLY FELL WITH .2 OF AN INCH RECORDED ON THE MAY 20TH (BOOSTING THE SEASON SNOWFALL TO 56 INCHES).

MEMORIAL WEEKEND...WHILE STARTING OUT COOL AND WET...MODERATED NICELY AND DRIED OUT. ACTUALLY...IT WAS QUITE FITTING...AS THE UNOFFICIAL START TO SUMMER USHERED IN THE WARMEST WEATHER OF THE MONTH. THE TEMPERATURE ROSE UP CLOSER TO NORMAL BY MEMORIAL DAY AND CONSIDERABLE SUNSHINE GRACED THE COOL...DAMP LANDSCAPE. THE HIGH OF 80 DEGREES ON MEMORIAL DAY WAS THE FIRST 80 OR BETTER RECORDED SINCE MID APRIL.

WE ALMOST MADE IT THROUGH THE MONTH WITHOUT ANY SEVERE WEATHER IN SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN...THAT IS...UNTIL THE 29TH AND 31ST. FIRST OFF...AN ISOLATED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CONTAINED STRONG WINDS WHICH TOOK DOWN SOME TREES AND DAMAGED A CHIMNEY AS IT MOVED THROUGH THE AKRON AREA ON THE 29TH. A MORE ORGANIZED SEVERE WEATHER EVENT TOOK PLACE...HOWEVER...EARLY ON THE 31ST AS A CLUSTERS OF STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS CONCENTRATED ON THE SAGINAW VALLEY INTO THE THUMB AND FLINT REGION. SEVERAL REPORTS OF HIGH WINDS AND HAIL WERE NOTED DURING THE PRE-DAWN HOURS. AREAS THAT REPORTED TREE DAMAGE INCLUDED...BURT...NEW LOTHROP...FLUSHING...FLINT AND LAPEER.

FREQUENT RAINS DURING THE MONTH MADE MAY RATHER WET ALONG WITH THE DOMINANT COOL WEATHER. THE 3.62 INCH TOTAL PUT MAY INTO THE 18TH WETTEST SPOT ON RECORD IN FLINT.


***JUNE 2002***

  • COOL WEATHER EARLY IN JUNE IS REPLACED WITH HEAT MAKING IT THE 11TH WARMEST JUNE ON RECORD
  • OVERALL DRY WEATHER LEADS TO THE SEVENTH DRIEST JUNE ON RECORD

THE COOL PATTERN OF MAY AND THE WARM WINDS OF SUMMER VISITED THE REGION FREQUENTLY THROUGHOUT JUNE AS THE TRANSITION FROM SPRING TO SUMMER TOOK PLACE. THERE WAS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THIS RIGHT OF THE BAT WHEN ON THE FIRST...THE TEMPERATURE HIT 85 DEGREES...THEN FELL BACK TO A HIGH OF JUST 58 DEGREES (17 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL) TWO DAYS LATER ON THE THIRD. FROM THEN ON...TEMPERATURES AVERAGED BELOW NORMAL FOR THE BALANCE OF THE FIRST WEEK. DURING JUNE'S SECOND WEEK...A STRONG BUT BRIEF WARM UP....PUSHED TEMPERATURES WELL UP INTO MAINLY THE 80S FROM THE 8TH THROUGH THE 11TH. TEMPERATURES PEAKED WITH HIGHS OF 88 ON BOTH THE 10TH AND 11TH AND A MORNING LOW OF JUST 70 ON THE 11TH WAS THE WARMEST LOW EVER SEEN FOR THE DATE.

ANOTHER COOL DOWN COMMENCED MID MONTH /14-17TH/ AS A PRONOUNCED UPPER LOW AND A SERIES OF FRONTS PUSHED SOUTHEAST INTO THE GREAT LAKES. CONSIDERABLE INSTABILITY WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SYSTEM AND OCCASIONAL ROUNDS OF STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WERE SPAWNED OVER THE REGION. THE MOST NOTABLE EVENT TOOK PLACE THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING OF THE 17TH. SCATTERED BANDS OF STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS PRODUCED HAIL UP TO 3/4 OF AN INCH. MUCH OF THE ACTIVITY EXTENDED FROM BAY COUNTY... SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE THUMB REGION.

TEMPERATURES WARMED UP THE LATTER THIRD OF THE MONTH WHEN HIGHS RANGED FROM THE MID 80S TO LOWER 90S. THE FIRST 90 DEGREE OF THE SEASON CAME ON THE 20TH (JUST IN TIME FOR THE OFFICIAL BEGINNING OF SUMMER /21ST/). WARM AND MOIST AIR SURGING NORTH INTO THE REGION ON THE 21ST SPAWNED MORE STRONG STORMS. A SEVERE STORM DUMPED 3/4 INCH HAIL OVER MILLINGTON IN TUSCOLA COUNTY. THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY HELPED PRODUCE MORE WIDELY SCATTERED STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS IN THE DAYS TO COME. ON THE 22ND... NUMEROUS TREE LIMBS WERE REPORTED DOWN AROUND DECKER IN SANILAC COUNTY WITH A STORM. THEN...AN ISOLATED SEVERE STORM PRODUCED GOLFBALL SIZE HAIL OVER OWOSSO IN SHIAWASSEE COUNTY THREE DAYS LATER ON THE 25TH. THE HEAT CREATED A NEW RECORD HIGH ON THE 23RD WHEN A HIGH OF 91 TIED THE OLD RECORD SET BACK IN 1983. A HIGH OF 92 ON THE 24TH JUST MISSED TYING THE RECORD /93/ BY ONE DEGREE.

WHILE LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN OCCURRED WITH WIDELY SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS DURING THE MONTH...OVERALL...MUCH OF THE REGION WAS ON THE DRY SIDE. THE 1.48 INCHES THAT FELL IN JUNE AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT WAS UNDER HALF THE NORM AND MADE IT THE SEVENTH DRIEST JUNE SINCE 1942. RAINFALL DURING THE MONTH TENDED TO BE HIGHER....HOWEVER....ACROSS THE SAGINAW VALLEY AND THUMB REGION. SAGINAW RECEIVED 3.15 INCHES OF RAIN IN JUNE WHICH WAS .09 INCH ABOVE NORMAL. THIS RAINFALL TOTAL WAS MAINLY BOOSTED BY THUNDERSTORMS WITH VERY HEAVY RAIN ON THE 21ST /.73/ AND 22ND /1.24/.


***JULY 2002***

  • FREQUENT HOT WEATHER PRODUCES THE 4TH WARMEST JULY ON RECORD AND THE 5TH WARMEST MONTH ON RECORD
  • A RECORD HIGH AND...BELIEVE IT OR NOT...A RECORD LOW THIS JULY
  • OVERALL DRY JULY...BECOMES THE 19TH WETTEST
  • NOTABLE SUMMER DRY SPELL VISITS MID JUNE TO MID JULY

JULY'S WEATHER CONTINUED THE TREND OF LATE JUNE WITH TEMPERATURES ABOVE TO WELL ABOVE NORMAL. THE UPPER RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE THAT OSCILLATED BACK AND FORTH OVER THE COUNTRY LATE SPRING INTO EARLY SUMMER...BEGAN TO HOLD AND BUILD MORE STEADILY FROM THE ROCKIES TO THE EAST COAST. THIS RIDGE RETREATED TO NEAR THE WEST COAST ONLY BRIEFLY AT TIMES AND THUS...ALLOWED JUST GLANCING BLOWS OF COOLER AIR TO FILTER DOWN. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR JULY OF 75.0 DEGREES /+4.4/ MADE THIS JULY THE 4TH WARMEST JULY IN FLINT SINCE 1942. IN ADDITION...THAT 75.0 DEGREE AVERAGE MADE THE FIFTH SPOT FOR WARMEST MONTHS EVER IN FLINT. FURTHER NORTH IN THE SAGINAW VALLEY... TEMPERATURES AVERAGED A BIT COOLER WITH AN AVERAGE OF 73.7 DEGREES. THIS MADE JULY 2002 THE 16TH WARMEST JULY IN SAGINAW SINCE 1900. RAINFALL WAS LESS THAN AT FLINT...HOWEVER...WITH JUST 2.16 INCHES FALLING.

JULY STARTED OFF HOT AND SULTRY AS TEMPERATURES PUSHED UP INTO THE LOWER TO MID 90S THROUGH THE FOURTH OF JULY. WHILE NO RECORDS WERE SET...THE HIGH TEMPERATURES WERE NOT FAR REMOVED FROM THE RECORDS. A HIGH OF 95 ON THE 2ND CAME WITHIN TWO DEGREES OF THE RECORD /97/ AND A HIGH OF 95 ON THE 3RD JUST MISSED THE RECORD /96/ BY A DEGREE. AFTER REACHING 92 ON THE FOURTH...A BACKDOOR COLD FRONT BROUGHT REFRESHINGLY COOLER WEATHER (HIGH OF 78) ON THE 5TH BUT THE FRONT PROVED RAINLESS. THE COOL DOWN WAS SHORT LIVED AS HIGHS ROSE THROUGH THE 80S THE NEXT FEW DAYS...MAXING-OUT AGAIN AT 95 BY THE 8TH. ANOTHER MORE PRONOUNCED COLD FRONT PUSHED THROUGH THE AREA ON THE 9TH AND BROUGHT IN SOME ACTUALLY COOL AIR FOR JULY. HIGH TEMPERATURES REACHED ONLY INTO THE UPPER 70S ON THE 10/11TH AND THEN...A RECORD LOW WAS TIED (OLD RECORD 47/1978) ON THE MORNING OF THE 12TH WHEN THE TEMPERATURE FELL TO 47! THIS COOL DOWN BECAME JUST A FAINT MEMORY DURING THE REMAINDER OF JULY AS THE WARM TO HOT WEATHER...FREQUENTLY ACCOMPANIED BY OPPRESSIVE HUMIDITY...DOMINATED THE REGION WITH ONLY BRIEF REPRIEVES.

HIGH TEMPERATURES REACHED 90 OR BETTER 13 TIMES DURING JULY...MORE THAN FOUR TIMES THE NORMAL /3/. ANOTHER HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 95 ON THE 22ND BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 94 SET BACK IN 1987. THE RECORD NUMBER OF 90 DEGREE OR BETTER DAYS FOR JULY OCCURRED BACK IN...NOT SURPRISINGLY...THE TWO HOTTEST JULYS ON RECORD...1987 AND 1955 WITH AVERAGE TEMPERATURES OF 75.6 AND 75.5...RESPECTIVELY. DURING THOSE TWO HOT JULYS...14 DAYS RECORDED A 90 OR BETTER TEMPERATURE (SO WE CAME UP ONE SHY...TO TIE... THIS JULY). SO FAR THIS YEAR...18 DAYS HAVE RECORDED A 90 OR BETTER (ON AVERAGE WE HAVE JUST 7). WHAT MADE THE HEAT EVEN WORSE DURING JULY WAS THE LACK OF RAIN FROM THE 1ST THROUGH 20TH WITH JUST .12 OF AN INCH FALLING IN TWO DAYS AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT. LOOKING FURTHER BACK... FROM MID JUNE /21ST/ THROUGH MID JULY /20TH/...STILL ONLY .12 OF AN INCH FELL IN THE LONG DRY SPELL. TAKE NOTE HOWEVER...A DRY SPELL (LESS THAN .50 INCH OF RAIN IN A TWO TO FOUR WEEK PERIOD) IS MORE THE NORM THAN NOT IN SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS. WHAT MADE THIS DRY SPELL WORSE...HOWEVER...WAS: 1) THE HEAT THAT ACCOMPANIED IT...2) ITS TIMING (DURING MAXIMUM GROWING SEASON AND ESPECIALLY AFTER A DIFFICULT START) AND...3) THE FOUR WEEK DURATION WHICH MADE THE DRY SPELL EVEN MORE PRONOUNCED WITH SOME AREAS ACTUALLY REACHING MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS. IT IS ALSO INTERESTING THAT A SIMILAR DRY PATTERN OCCURRED LAST SUMMER AND WAS ALSO ACCOMPANIED BY ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES. IRONICALLY...DURING LAST SUMMER'S DRY SPELL (JUNE 23RD- JULY 16TH)...WE ALSO RECEIVED NEARLY THE SAME MEASLY AMOUNT /.14/ OF RAIN IN ALSO TWO DAYS.

WITH DRY WEATHER DOMINATING THE FIRST HALF OF THE MONTH...SEVERE WEATHER WAS NEGLIGIBLE BUT...ALONG WITH THE RAINFALL...BEGAN TO PICK UP DURING THE SECOND HALF. THE MOST NOTABLE EVENT TOOK PLACE AFTER A RECORD HIGH OF 95 ON THE 22ND (OLD RECORD 94/1987). A STRONG COLD FRONT (FOR JULY) PUSHED SOUTHEAST LATE ON THE 22ND THROUGH THE SAGINAW VALLEY AND THUMB REGION...TO FLINT AND LAPEER. LINES OF STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS MOVED THROUGH THE REGION INTERMITTENTLY THROUGH THE DAY...WITH THE MAIN BLAST OF SEVERE WEATHER OCCURRED LATE AFTERNOON INTO EARLY EVENING. REPORTS OF HAIL (DIME SIZE) AND WIND DAMAGE (GUSTS OF BETWEEN 50 TO 70 MPH) WERE RELAYED TO THE NWS. SEVERAL TREES AND POWER LINES WERE DOWNED CREATING SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES. TWO OTHER STORMS WITH VERY HEAVY RAIN EACH BROUGHT OVER AN INCH OF RAIN LATE IN THE MONTH...WHICH HELPED TO ALLEVIATE THE VERY DRY CONDITIONS. THE FIRST STORM ON THE 26TH DUMPED 1.12 INCHES OF RAIN...WHILE THE SECOND STORM ON THE 29TH DRENCHED FLINT AGAIN WITH 1.18 INCHES. THESE TWO STORMS ALONE ACCOUNTED FOR NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF THE MONTH'S RAINFALL. IN FACT...ALL BUT .12 OF THE 3.63 INCHES OF RAIN THAT FELL IN JULY...FELL AFTER THE 20TH. THOSE TWO STORMS WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN MAKING AN OVERALL...DRY JULY...THE 19TH "WETTEST" SINCE 1942!


***AUGUST 2002***

  • 13TH WARMEST AND 7TH DRIEST AUGUST ON RECORD IN FLINT SINCE 1942
  • DRY PATTERN OF THE SUMMER CONTINUED ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION

THE HOT AND HUMID WEATHER SO PREVALENT THROUGH MUCH OF THE SUMMER BEGAN TO WANE SOMEWHAT IN AUGUST (AS MIGHT BE EXPECTED)...ESPECIALLY AS THE SECOND HALF OF THE MONTH PLAYED OUT. BEFORE MID AUGUST... HOWEVER...SOME MORE NINETIES WERE CHALKED UP. A 91 DEGREE READING ON THE 1ST AND A 90 DEGREE HIGH ON THE 11TH...ADDED TWO MORE 90 DEGREE OR BETTER DAYS TO THE SUMMER HOT POT. THE TWO ADDITIONAL 90S IN FLINT BROUGHT THE SUMMER TOTAL OF 90 DEGREE OR BETTER DAYS TO 20... A FAR CRY FROM THE SUMMER AVERAGE OF JUST 7...BUT NOWHERE NEAR THE RECORD OF 36 DAYS...SET BACK DURING THE HOT SUMMER OF 1988. THE LAST TIME A SUMMER WAS AS WARM OR WARMER THAN THIS PAST SUMMER WAS IN 1995 WHEN ON JUST 12 DAYS THE MERCURY REACHED 90 OR BETTER (READ MORE ABOUT THE SUMMER OF 2002 IN THE UPCOMING SUMMER REVIEW).

MORE REGULAR COOL DOWNS DURING AUGUST KEPT THE ABOVE NORMAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FROM GETTING OUT OF HAND /+2.3/. HOWEVER...THE HEAT WAS NOT QUITE AS AGGRESSIVE ACROSS THE SAGINAW VALLEY/THUMB REGION WHERE NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES PREVAILED. THE FIRST BREAK IN THE HEAT CAME AT THE TAIL END OF THE FIRST WEEK...THEN AGAIN DURING THE THIRD WEEK. AFTER TEMPERATURES ROSE INTO THE 80S AND 90S EARLY THAT FIRST WEEK...A STRONG COLD FRONT BLEW THROUGH THE AREA ON THE 5TH. THE HIGH TEMPERATURE ONLY REACHED 73 ON THE 6TH AND 77 ON THE 7TH... WHILE OVERNIGHT LOWS FELL TO 47 BOTH MORNINGS. THAT LOW OF 47 ON THE 7TH CAME WITHIN ONE DEGREE OF THE RECORD LOW /46/ SET BACK IN 1989. THE CLASH OF THE EARLY AUGUST HEAT AND HUMIDITY WITH THE FIRST THE SERIES OF COLD FRONTS SPAWNED SCATTERED STORMS ON THE 4-5TH BUT FLINT MISSED MUCH OF THE ACTION WITH JUST .09 OF AN INCH FALLING. THE STRONGER STORMS WITH HEAVIER RAINS OCCURRED FURTHER SOUTH...FROM METRO DETROIT TO THE OHIO BORDER.

A FEW STRONG STORMS ERUPTED AGAIN ON THE 12TH BUT MORE WIDESPREAD STORM ACTIVITY BLEW UP ON 13TH IN ADVANCE OF ANOTHER COLD FRONT. ON THE 12TH...A BAND OF STRONG STORMS DEVELOPED ACROSS TUSCOLA AND SAGINAW COUNTY BUT DID LITTLE DAMAGE. MORE ACTIVE AND WIDESPREAD STORMS PUSHED THROUGH THE REGION JUST AHEAD OF THE COLD FRONT ON THE 13TH. SPOTTER REPORTS OF ONE INCH HAIL AND/OR STRONG DAMAGING WINDS WERE RECEIVED MAINLY FROM TUSCOLA...SAGINAW...HURON AND BAY COUNTIES.

MORE BENEFICIAL RAINS CAME ON THE 22ND-24TH WHEN A COLD FRONT PUSHED INTO THE REGION AS A WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE MOVED ALONG IT. THE RAINFALL AMOUNTS WERE QUITE UNEVEN THOUGH...WITH SOME AREAS RECEIVING WELL OVER AN INCH OF RAIN...WHILE SOME OTHERS BARELY GOT A TENTH OF AN INCH. SOME OF THE HEAVIER RAIN AMOUNTS FROM OUR COOPERATIVE WEATHER OBSERVERS INCLUDED...2.05 INCHES NEAR SAGINAW (THOUGH TRI CITIES AIRPORT RECEIVED FAR LESS WITH .89 OF AN INCH)...1.21 INCHES FELL IN VASSAR...AND .84 WAS REPORTED NEAR WHEELER IN MIDLAND COUNTY.

A PLEASANT...DRY AND TRANQUIL WEATHER PATTERN SETTLED OVER THE GREAT LAKES MUCH OF THE LAST WEEK OF THE MONTH INTO LABOR DAY WEEKEND... COMPLIMENTS OF A LARGE CANADIAN HIGH PRESSURE CENTER. TEMPERATURES FLOATED AROUND NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE AND WERE ACCOMPANIED BY TOLERABLE HUMIDITIES.

FOR THE MOST PART...AND LIKE THE REST OF THE SUMMER...AUGUST WAS ON THE DRY SIDE (ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE FLINT AREA...NORTH INTO PORTIONS OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY/THUMB REGION). IRONICALLY...FLINT'S RAINFALL TOTAL OF 1.51 /7TH DRIEST/ PUSHED BACK AUGUST 2001 /1.58/ FROM 7TH PLACE TO 8TH FOR DRIEST AUGUST. RAINFALL TOTAL FOR SAGINAW WAS A BIT MORE THAN FLINT AT 2.10 INCHES. MEASURABLE RAIN FELL ON ONLY NINE DAYS IN AUGUST AT FLINT. IN ADDITION...AND LIKE MOST CONVECTIVE RAINS... WHILE A FEW AREAS MAY HAVE RECEIVED MORE RAIN THAN FLINT OR SAGINAW... THE MAJORITY OF THE REGION HAD NEARLY THE SAME OR LESS.


***SEPTEMBER 2002***

  • EXTREMELY DRY SEPTEMBER RANKS AT THE TOP FOR DRIEST SEPTEMBERS AND FIFTH FOR DRIEST MONTH EVER IN FLINT SINCE 1942
  • SUMMER'S HEAT HANGS AROUND WELL INTO SEPTEMBER...MAKING IT THE SECOND WARMEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD IN FLINT

THE DRY PATTERN OF THE SUMMER ONLY WORSENED AS WE MOVED INTO THE FALL MONTH OF SEPTEMBER. THE MEASLY .29 OF AN INCH OF RAIN THAT FELL DURING SEPTEMBER MADE IT THE DRIEST SEPTEMBER EVER RECORDED AT BISHOP AIRPORT SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1942. NOT ONLY WAS THIS PAST SEPTEMBER THE DRIEST AT BISHOP AIRPORT...IT ALSO WAS THE DRIEST SEPTEMBER EVER RECORDED IN THE FLINT AREA INCLUDING CO- OPERATE WEATHER OBSERVER RECORDS BACK TO 1893. THE LAST TIME IT WAS NEARLY THIS DRY IN SEPTEMBER WAS BACK IN 1979 WHEN JUST A FEW MORE HUNDREDTHS FELL WITH .32 OF AN INCH. IN ADDITION... NOT ONLY WAS THE MONTH DRY FOR SEPTEMBER...BUT FOR ANY MONTH. THE TOTAL OF .29 OF AN INCH ALSO MADE THE LIST FOR THE DRIEST MONTHS ON RECORD AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT...PLACING FIFTH.

FURTHER NORTH...ACROSS THE THUMB REGION AND SAGINAW VALLEY...DRY WEATHER ALSO DOMINATED WITH JUST .39 OF AN INCH FALLING AT SAGINAW. THAT .39 OF AN INCH MADE THIS SEPTEMBER THE SECOND DRIEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD IN SAGINAW SINCE 1900. IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN SOME TO EQUAL SAGINAW'S DRIEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD BEING THAT IN SEP 1979...NO MEASURABLE RAIN FELL THAT ENTIRE MONTH! HOWEVER...THAT .39 OF AN INCH DID NOT PLACE IN THE TOP DRIEST MONTHS FOR SAGINAW.

THE WORST OF THE EXTREMELY DRY PERIOD COMMENCED ON AUG 25TH AND PERSISTED THROUGH SEP 17TH WHEN IN THAT 24 DAY STRETCH...NO MEASURABLE RAIN (TRACE ONLY) FELL AT FLINT. AND...WHILE THAT DRY WEATHER CONTINUED...SO DID THE HEAT. SUMMER'S HEAT HUNG AROUND WELL INTO SEPTEMBER AS TEMPERATURES AVERAGED WELL ABOVE NORMAL /7.0 DEGREES/ THROUGH THE 21ST...WITH SEVERAL MORE 90S+ AND RECORDS HIGHS TO BOOT. FIVE MORE 90S+ DAYS PUSHED THE SUMMER TOTAL UP TO 24 DAYS OF 90 OR ABOVE AT FLINT. IN ADDITION...A RECORD HIGH OF 93 /OLD RECORD 92-1983/ WAS RECORDED ON THE 9TH AND THEN ON THE 14TH...A HIGH OF 88 BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 86 SET BACK IN 1976. ON THE LAST DAY OF SEPTEMBER /30TH/...AGAIN A RECORD HIGH WAS ESTABLISHED WHEN THE TEMPERATURE ROSE TO 86 DEGREES. THIS 86 DEGREE READING BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 83 SET BACK IN 1991. IN SPITE OF ALL THE SEPTEMBER HEAT...THERE WERE ALSO A FEW CHILLY MORNINGS IN FLINT. AS AN EXAMPLE...ON THE MORNING OF THE 25TH...THE MERCURY SLIPPED DOWN TO 37 DEGREES AND CAME WITHIN SEVEN DEGREES OF THE RECORD LOW /30/.

DESPITE THE OVERALL DRY MONTH...THERE WERE STILL A COUPLE OF SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS. AFTER SEVERAL DAYS OF NEAR OR RECORD WARMTH...A STRONG COLD FRONT PLOWED THROUGH THE REGION LATE IN THE AFTERNOON ON THE 10TH. SEVERAL SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AND MARINE WARNINGS WERE ISSUED AND WIND DAMAGE WAS REPORTED IN HURON AND SHIAWASSEE COUNTIES. THEN ON THE 19TH...UPPER LEVEL DYNAMICS AIDED BY INSTABILITY AND A SURPLUS OF MOISTURE IN THE LOWER LEVELS...TRIGGERED ANOTHER ROUND OF STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. WIND DAMAGE WAS ALSO THE MAIN ACTION WITH THIS SEVERE WEATHER EVENT AND WAS REPORTED IN BAY...MIDLAND AND SHIAWASSEE COUNTIES.


***OCTOBER 2002***

  • OCTOBER DOES A COMPLETE ABOUT-FACE MID MONTH AS THE SECOND WARMEST OCTOBER ENDS UP THE 11TH COLDEST
  • ONE RECORD HIGH AND THREE RECORD LOWS FLAG THE TEMPERATURE EXTREME MONTH
  • NO CHANGE IN THE ESTABLISHED DRY PATTERN AS OCTOBER RANKS THE 12TH DRIEST OCTOBER ON RECORD
  • 2002 FALL COLOR DISPLAY...DELAYED

OCTOBER OF 2002 WILL BE REMEMBERED ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN FOR ITS NOTABLE CONTRASTING TEMPERATURE PATTERN. THE MONTH ARRIVED LIKE SEPTEMBER ENDED WITH UNSEASONABLY WARM WEATHER PRODUCING RECORD OR NEAR RECORD WARMTH. A HIGH TEMPERATURE AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT OF 89 DEGREES ON THE 1ST SHATTERED THE OLD RECORD OF 84 SET BACK IN 1971. THAT 89 DEGREE READING MATCHED THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE SO LATE IN THE YEAR (AN 89 ALSO OCCURRED 10/6/63). THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 80 DEGREES ON THE 1ST WAS...HOWEVER...THE WARMEST AVERAGE TEMPERATURE SO LATE IN THE YEAR BY FAR (OLD RECORD WAS 76 ON 10/4/51). ANOTHER 82 DEGREE READING ON THE 4TH WAS 17 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL AND WAS THE LAST 80 DEGREE READING FOR THE YEAR. THE SUMMER-LIKE WEATHER WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE 80S WAS ENDED ON THE 4TH BY A STRONG COLD FRONT THAT CHURNED-UP A SQUALL-LINE OF SHOWERS AND WIND GUSTS UP TO AROUND 45 MPH.

THE WARM OCTOBER WEATHER CONTINUED RIGHT INTO MID MONTH WITH TEMPERATURES RISING MAINLY INTO THE 60S TO AROUND 70. BY THE 12TH...TEMPERATURES AVERAGED OVER 6 DEGREES /+6.1/ ABOVE NORMAL AT 58.9 DEGREES WHICH AT THE TIME...RANKED THIS OCTOBER IN SECOND PLACE FOR WARMEST OCTOBER. A BIG CHANGE CAME MID MONTH AS THE UPPER WIND PATTERN SHIFTED FROM A DOMINANT SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW TO NORTHWESTERLY. THE COLDER SECOND HALF OF OCTOBER CAUSED THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE TO DROP OVER 11 DEGREES TO 47.6 DEGREES BY MONTH'S END! WHAT HAD BEEN THE SECOND WARMEST OCTOBER ON RECORD BY THE 12TH...BECAME THE 11TH COLDEST BY MONTH'S END. ALSO...THE WELL ABOVE NORMAL COOLING DEGREE DEPARTURE FOR THE MONTH...DESPITE THE BELOW NORMAL MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE...FURTHER UNDERLINES THE CONTRASTING TEMPERATURE PATTERN OF THE MONTH. WITH THE COLDER WEATHER THE SECOND HALF OF OCTOBER...SEVERAL RECORD LOWS WERE SET. A RECORD LOW OF 26 /OLD RECORD 27-1957/ WAS SET ON THE 14TH...THEN ON THE 17TH...A LOW OF 24 BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 25 SET BACK IN 1977. FINALLY...A LOW OF 22 AT THE MONTH'S CLOSE /31ST/ TIED THE OLD RECORD OF 22 SET FIRST IN 1988. FROST AND FREEZES ARRIVED ON SCHEDULE ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN BY MID MONTH. THE FIRST FREEZING TEMPERATURE (AND A HARD FREEZE AT THAT) WAS 26 DEGREES AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT ON THE 14TH.

THE RELATIVELY DRY PATTERN OF THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS CONTINUED IN OCTOBER WITH JUST OVER HALF THE MONTH'S NORMAL RAINFALL MEASURED. WHILE NO SNOW WAS OFFICIALLY REPORTED AT FLINT BISHOP AIRPORT IN OCTOBER...SOME FLURRIES WERE OBSERVED AT OTHER LOCATIONS IN SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN INCLUDING SAGINAW /23RD/ FOR THE FIRST SNOW FLAKES OF THE SEASON.

INTERESTINGLY...OCTOBER OF 2002 MIRRORED OCTOBER OF 1997 (THE LAST EL NINO OCTOBER) ESPECIALLY AS FAR AS THE OVERALL TEMPERATURE PATTERN. OCTOBER OF 1997 ALSO STARTED OUT UNSEASONABLY WARM WITH A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE THE FIRST WEEK. THE ABRUPT CHANGE...IRONICALLY... ALSO OCCURRED MID MONTH /14TH/ WITH A STRONG SHIFT OF THE JET STREAM TO THE NORTHWEST. THE MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR OCTOBER 1997 ALSO CAME CLOSE TO THIS OCTOBER'S AT 48.1 (BUT 2.8 INCHES OF SNOW ALSO WAS MEASURED THAT OCTOBER).

THE COMBINATION OF A VERY WARM AND DRY EARLY FALL...IN ADDITION TO THE UNSEASONABLY WARM AND DRY SUMMER...DELAYED THE FALL COLOR SEASON AS MUCH AS TWO WEEKS. AT OCTOBER'S CLOSE...THE MAJORITY OF TREES STILL HELD THEIR LEAVES AS A CHILLY HALLOWEEN GREETED TRICK OR TREATERS.


***NOVEMBER 2002***

  • COLDER THAN AVERAGE TREND SINCE MID OCTOBER HOLDS INTO NOVEMBER
  • 12TH DRIEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD
  • WINTER ARRIVES EARLY...SETTLING IN THE LATTER HALF OF NOVEMBER

THE JET STREAM SHIFT TO A DOMINANT NORTHWESTERLY FLOW THAT COMMENCED MID OCTOBER...HELD SWAY FOR MUCH OF NOVEMBER ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN. TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE FLINT AREA NORTH INTO THE SAGINAW VALLEY AND THUMB REGION AVERAGED FROM JUST BELOW NORMAL /-.5/ AT FLINT TO MORE NOTABLY BELOW NORMAL /-2.5/ AT SAGINAW WITH A 35.5 DEGREE AVERAGE.

OVERALL...WINTER ARRIVED EARLIER THAN SEEN THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS ACROSS SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN. WINTER-LIKE WEATHER PRETTY MUCH SETTLED OVER THE REGION DURING THE THIRD AND FOURTH WEEKS OF THE MONTH. THE COLDER THAN NORMAL WEATHER OF THE PAST TWO MONTHS PARALLELED THE COLDER PERIODS FOUND WHILE RESEARCHING DATA FOR THE WINTER OUTLOOK (UNDER CONTRARY INDICATORS). AS MENTIONED IN THE OUTLOOK...THIS COLD PATTERN BEARS WATCHING AS WE MOVE INTO THE WINTER MONTHS FOR ANY CHANGE...OR IN FACT...LONGER TERM DOMINANCE (AS EXPLAINED IN THE OUTLOOK). IT SHOULD BE MENTIONED...HOWEVER...THAT THE RESEARCH ALSO SUGGESTED THE MONTH OF DECEMBER HAD THE BEST CHANCE TO AVERAGE ABOVE NORMAL OF THE WINTER MONTHS.

COLD WEATHER OPENED THE MONTH WITH A WEEK OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES. IN FACT...SNOW SHOWERS WERE SEEN AT THE MONTH'S OPEN ON THE FIRST. THIS WAS THE FIRST OFFICIAL SNOW OF THE SEASON OBSERVED FOR FLINT AT BISHOP AIRPORT (THOUGH SNOW HAD BEEN OBSERVED AT OTHER SCATTERED LOCATIONS...INCLUDING THE SAGINAW VALLEY...BACK IN OCTOBER).

AS A STRONG AREA OF LOWER PRESSURE AFFECTED THE REGION FROM THE 8TH - 11TH. THIS STORM CENTER PUSHED UP WARMER AIR FROM THE SOUTH CAUSING A BRIEF BUT NOTABLE WARM UP. TEMPERATURES AVERAGED NEARLY 15 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL FROM THE 8TH - 11TH. A HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 66 ON THE 10TH CAME WITHIN TWO DEGREES OF THE RECORD HIGH /68 IN 1999/ WHILE SOME STRONG THUNDERSTORMS MADE THEIR WAY INTO EXTREME SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN AHEAD OF THIS LOW PRESSURE AREA ON THE 10TH...THE THUNDERSTORMS REMAINED SOUTH OF THE FLINT AREA BUT BRIEF HEAVY RAINS DID DEPOSIT OVER AN HALF AN INCH /.55/ ON FLINT. IN SPITE OF THE RAIN...THE MONTH STILL CAME IN THE 12TH DRIEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD SINCE 1942.

WHILE THERE WERE A FEW MILD DAYS DURING THE REMAINDER OF NOVEMBER... FOR THE MOST PART...THE WEATHER REVERTED BACK TO THE COLDER...DOMINANT TREND SEEN EARLIER AS WINTER MADE IT'S PRESENCE KNOWN. CLIPPERS PUSHING SOUTHEAST OF CANADA FREQUENTLY DRAPED POLAR AIR OVER THE REGION... STIRRING UP LIGHT SNOW AND SNOW SHOWERS. ONE EXTRAORDINARY AND SOMEWHAT INFREQUENT (AS FAR AS AMOUNTS) LAKE EFFECT SNOW EVENT TOOK PLACE AS A COLD HIGH PRESSURE PUSHED SOUTH INTO THE UPPER MIDWEST AND LOW PRESSURE MOVED THROUGH THE UPPER OHIO VALLEY. THE PERSISTENT NORTH TO NORTHEAST WIND OFF OF LAKE HURON DUMPED SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW DOWNWIND OF LAKE HURON ONTO THE THUMB REGION...SOUTH INTO SANILAC AND ST CLAIR COUNTIES...LATE ON THE 26TH INTO THE EARLY HOURS OF THE 27TH. GENERALLY 6 TO 8 INCHES FELL IN EXTREME EASTERN SANILAC COUNTY BUT UP TO 17 INCHES FELL JUST ON THE NORTH SIDE OF PORT HURON IN ST CLAIR COUNTY.

THE MONTH CLOSED THE WAY IT BEGAN WITH COLD AND LIGHT SNOW. THANKSGIVING'S WEATHER /27TH/ WAS MORE APPROPRIATE FOR CHRISTMAS AS HIGHS FLIRTED WITH FREEZING (THE NORMAL FOR CHRISTMAS) AS SNOW SHOWERS PASSED OVER THE REGION.


***DECEMBER***

  • DECEMBER OPENS UNUSUALLY COLD WITH RECORD LOWS AND LIGHT SNOW
  • MILD SECOND HALF OF DECEMBER PUSHES AVERAGE TEMPERATURE ABOVE NORMAL
  • SNOW ON CHRISTMAS SUPPLIES A WHITE CHRISTMAS FOR ALL
  • 12TH DRIEST DECEMBER ON RECORD

THERE WAS NO CHANGE SEEN IN THE STRONG NORTHWESTERLY FLOW THAT HAS PREVAILED SINCE MID OCTOBER. IN FACT...DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF THE MONTH...A VERY DEEP UPPER LEVEL TROUGH PUSHED SOME ARCTIC AIR INTO THE REGION AFTER THE AREA EXPERIENCED ITS FIRST NOTABLE SNOWFALL. SNOWFALLS OF GENERALLY A COUPLE OF INCHES COVERED THE AREA WITH SOMEWHAT HIGHER AMOUNTS AGAIN...JUST DOWNWIND OF LAKE HURON. NEEDLESS TO SAY...DRIVING CONDITIONS WERE EXCEPTIONALLY BAD WITH THE STORM STARTING AT THE MORNING RUSH AND ENDING BEFORE THE EVENING RUSH. AFTER ON THE 3RD/4TH...TEMPERATURES DROPPED TO THEIR LOWEST LEVELS OF THE MONTH WITH READINGS DIVING TO AROUND ZERO OR BELOW AT MANY LOCATIONS. A RECORD LOW OF -8 ON THE 3RD...BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF -7 SET BACK IN 1976. THEN ON THE 4TH...THE MERCURY SLIPPED TO -4 AND ELIMINATED THE OLD RECORD OF +2 SET BACK IN 1966. BY THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK...TEMPERATURES AVERAGED A COLD 18.7 DEGREES...OR ABOUT 12 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL!

BY MID MONTH...TEMPERATURES MODERATED CONSIDERABLY WITH HIGHS PUSHING BACK UP INTO THE 30S/40S. PRECIPITATION CONTINUED ON THE LIGHT SIDE... HOWEVER...WITH ONLY .14 INCH WATER EQUIVALENT FALLING AS RAIN AND SNOW THROUGH THE 15TH. ALONG WITH THE WARMER WEATHER FROM MID MONTH ON... PRECIPITATION BEGAN TO MAKE MORE OF AN APPEARANCE. ON THE 18-19TH... A MILD SURGE FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO PUSHED TEMPERATURES INTO THE 40S AND 50S. A HIGH OF 49 ON THE 18TH TIED (AND THUS...SUPERSEDED) THE RECORD HIGH FOR THE DATE FIRST ESTABLISHED IN 1957. IN ADDITION... RAINFALL AMOUNTED TO OVER A HALF OF AN INCH /.54/ FOR THE TWO DAY PERIOD...AND HALF THE ENTIRE MONTH'S TOTAL.

COLDER...YET SEASONABLE WEATHER MOVED BACK IN THE AREA FOR THE CHRISTMAS WEEK. A DEEPENING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVING THROUGH THE OHIO VALLEY CHRISTMAS EVE INTO CHRISTMAS DAY PROVIDED SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN WITH A PICTURE PERFECT WHITE CHRISTMAS. SNOWFALL TOTALS GENERALLY RANGED FROM TWO TO SIX INCHES ACROSS THE FLINT AREA...NORTH INTO THE SAGINAW VALLEY AND THUMB REGION. ANOTHER STORM CENTER...PASSING WEST OF THE REGION NEAR THE CLOSE OF THE MONTH...DREW MILD AIR NORTH INTO THE AREA. LIGHT RAIN...DRIZZLE AND/OR FOG MOVED INTO THE AREA ON THE 29-30TH AS THE WARMER...MOISTURE-LADEN AIR OVERSPREAD THE COLDER... SNOW COVERED GROUND. HIGH TEMPERATURES ROSE INTO THE LOWER 50S LATE ON THE 30TH/EARLY ON THE 31ST...ELIMINATING MUCH OF THE SNOW COVER. MOTHER NATURE DID COOPERATE...HOWEVER...ON NEW YEAR'S EVE AS A COLD FRONT SWEPT IN DRIER...MORE PLEASANT WEATHER FOR THE FESTIVITIES.

WITH THE GENERALLY MILDER WEATHER SEEN DURING THE SECOND HALF OF DECEMBER...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE ACTUALLY WARMED UP TO 27.7...OR A DEGREE /1.0/ ABOVE NORMAL. WHILE THE PRECIPITATION TOTAL WAS ABOUT HALF THE NORM AND PRODUCED THE 12TH DRIEST DECEMBER ON RECORD... SNOWFALL STILL CAME IN OVER AN INCH ABOVE NORMAL. THE SNOWFALL REFLECTED THE RATHER BUSY STORM TRACK THROUGH THE OHIO VALLEY AND CLIPPERS THROUGH THE LAKES.

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MONTH     TEMP/DEPART    PRECIP/DEPART   SNOW/DEPART  WINTER 2001-02
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JAN       30.9/+9.6       1.36/-0.21     15.6/+3.8     
FEB       30.0/+6.2       1.83/+0.52      8.9/-1.0 
MAR       32.4/-1.3       1.64/-0.58      4.7/-2.8
APR       47.9/+2.5       3.19/+0.06      3.1/+0.7        
MAY       53.1/-4.0       3.62/+0.88        T/ 0       40.4/-4.7
JUN       69.2/+3.0       1.48/-1.59          
JUL       75.0/+4.4       3.63/+0.46 
AUG       70.8/+2.3       1.51/-1.92 
SEP       66.6/+5.9       0.29/-3.47
OCT       47.6/-1.6       1.27/-1.07        0/-0.3
NOV       37.6/-0.5       1.38/-1.27      2.1/-1.4 
DEC       27.7/+1.0       1.08/-1.10     12.9/+1.3     
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YEAR      49.1/+2.3      22.28/-9.33
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1970-2000                                     1960-90 
NORMAL    46.8           31.61                NORMAL   45.1     
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SAGINAW   
2002      47.4/+0.4      22.52/-9.09                   55.8/+9.8
1970-2000                                     1960-90 
NORMAL    47.0           31.61                NORMAL   46.0
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