ZCZC ARBPNSDTX
ABUS34 KDTX 301557
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
1000 AM EDT MON APR 30 2001

...WINTER OF 2000-2001 IN SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN...THE FINAL TALLY...

LAST OCTOBER WHEN THE WINTER OUTLOOK WAS ISSUED FOR SOUTHEAST LOWER 
MICHIGAN...THERE WAS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE THAT THE WINTER WOULD 
BEHAVE MORE LIKE SOME OF THE HARDER WINTERS OF THE 70S AND 80S. IN 
HOUSE STUDIES INDICATED THE WINTER WAS EXPECTED TO SET IN EARLIER 
AND HARDER THAN IN RECENT WINTERS. IN ADDITION...THERE WERE ALSO 
INDICATIONS THE WORST OF THE WINTER (SNOW AND COLD) WOULD LIKELY 
OCCUR EARLY...THEN GIVE WAY TO A NOTABLE MILD SPELL IN THE MID TO LATE 
WINTER TIME FRAME...BEFORE WINTER'S "LAST HURRAH" (SO TO SPEAK) FROM 
LATE WINTER INTO EARLY SPRING.

IN THE END...TEMPERATURES WERE EXPECTED TO AVERAGE AROUND NORMAL
(WITHIN A DEGREE OR SO) BUT WITH CONSIDERABLE FLUCTUATIONS MONTH TO
MONTH AND SOMETIMES...WEEK TO WEEK. SNOWFALL WAS EXPECTED TO RANGE
FROM AROUND NORMAL (OR WITHIN 5 INCHES) TO ABOVE NORMAL WITH THE 
HEAVIEST CONCENTRATION FALLING EARLY IN THE SEASON. 

TABLE-1: SHOWS THE MONTHLY TEMPERATURES/SNOWFALL AND DEPARTURES FOR 
         THE WINTER OF 2000-01. TEMPERATURES AVERAGES FOR THE WINTER 
         SEASON ARE DECEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY...WHILE THE SNOWFALL 
         SEASON RUNS THE LENGTH OF OCCURRENCE.

______________________________________________________________________

            -AVE TEMP/DEPARTURE-             -SNOWFALL/DEPARTURE-    
MTH  DETROIT     FLINT      SAGINAW     DETROIT     FLINT   SAGINAW
----------------------------------------------------------------------
OCT                                      T/ -0.2    T/ -0.2
NOV                                    1.3/ -1.6  2.2/ -1.6  6.4/* 
DEC 19.3/-9.0  16.6/-10.6  17.2/-9.0  25.1/+15.1 35.3/+25.7 40.3/*        
JAN 26.2/+3.3  24.9/ +3.4  24.7/+4.1   3.4/ -7.1  5.1/ -6.7  7.0/*      
FEB 29.7/+4.3  27.1/ +3.6  25.5/+3.0   2.9/ -6.3  5.0/ -4.9  8.0/* 
MAR                                    5.4/ -1.4  3.8/ -3.7  5.5/* 
APR                                     .9/ -0.8  2.0/ -0.4   .6/*
----------------------------------------------------------------------
AVE 25.1/-0.5  22.9/ -1.2  22.5/-0.7  39.0/ -2.2 53.4/ +8.3 67.8/+21.8 
______________________________________________________________________ 

BELOW IN TABLE-2: 

(1) THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND TOTAL SNOWFALL OF STUDIED WINTERS. 
(2) THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF THOSE COMBINED WINTERS.
(3) THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND TOTAL SNOWFALL OF THIS PAST WINTER.
(4) THE TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE BETWEEN THIS PAST WINTER AND WINTERS 
    STUDIED.
(5) THE 30 YEAR TEMPERATURE NORMALS AND AVERAGE SNOWFALL. 
(6) THE TEMPERATURE/SNOWFALL OF WINTER 2000-01 RELATIVE TO NORMAL OR
    AVERAGE.

* MONTHLY BREAKDOWN FOR AVERAGE SNOWFALL IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR SAGINAW
  BUT WOULD BE SIMILAR TO FLINT.
___________________________________________________________________
(1)
WINTER        -AVE TEMP-                       -SNOWFALL-
SEASON   DETROIT   FLINT   SAGINAW      DETROIT   FLINT   SAGINAW
-------------------------------------------------------------------   
1903-04   18.7     15.1     16.2         57.0      45.0     47.8    
1917-18   19.9     15.6     16.6         38.4      37.5     49.4 
1929-30   27.9     25.6     25.8         66.5      63.4     57.0
1956-57   28.9     25.5     24.6         45.6      31.3     33.0
1971-72   27.2     25.6     24.2         29.0      52.1     55.5 
1974-75   28.1     28.1     27.8         63.1      82.9     45.4 
1981-82   21.9     20.9     20.3         74.0      62.2     43.4 
1085-86   23.6     21.4     21.6         54.2      53.3     50.6 
1989-90   27.4     24.9     24.3         41.8      55.4     61.7 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
WINTERS    
AVERAGED: 24.8     22.5     22.4             
(3)
2000-01   25.1     22.9     22.5         39.0      53.4     67.8 
(4)
DEPARTURE +0.3     +0.4     +0.1            
(5)
WINTER
NORMS:    25.6     24.1     23.2    AVE: 41.2      45.1     46.0 
(6)
DEPARTURE -0.5     -1.2     -0.7         -2.2      +8.3    +21.8     
___________________________________________________________________

WINTER 2000-01 EPILOGUE:

THE WINTER DID INDEED START OUT EARLY AND HARD. BY THE TIME DECEMBER
WAS HISTORY...MANY LOCATIONS HAD ALREADY RECEIVED MUCH OF THEIR
ENTIRE NORMAL WINTER SNOWFALL. TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY...IT WAS
EXCEPTIONALLY COLD WITH SOUTHEAST LOWER MICHIGAN AVERAGING ABOUT
TEN DEGREES BELOW NORMAL IN DECEMBER. SEVERAL SNOW AND COLD RECORDS
WERE SHATTERED AS IT WAS UNUSUAL TO SEE SUCH INTENSE COLD COMBINED
WITH SUCH HEAVY SNOWFALLS. BY THE HOLIDAY SEASON...SOUTHEAST LOWER
MICHIGAN RESEMBLED AN ARCTIC WASTELAND AT TIMES. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL
IN DECEMBER EXTENDED FROM THE ANN ARBOR AREA INTO DETROIT'S NORTHERN 
SUBURBS...NORTHWARD ACROSS FLINT AND PORT HURON INTO THE SAGINAW VALLEY 
AND THUMB REGION. SAGINAW HAD THE HONORS WITH THE HIGHEST SNOW TOTAL FOR 
DECEMBER OF THE THREE CITIES (DETROIT/FLINT/SAGINAW) WITH 40.3 INCHES. 
HERE AT THE NWS IN WHITE LAKE...HOWEVER...WE CAME CLOSE TO THAT WITH 
38.8 INCHES.  THIS AREA OF HEAVIEST SNOWFALL REFLECTED THE DOMINANT 
STORM TRACK WELL...WHICH RODE FROM THE SOUTHERN PLAINS INTO THE SOUTHERN 
GREAT LAKES. SEVERAL STORMS TRACKED EITHER OVER EXTREME SOUTHEAST LOWER 
MICHIGAN OR NORTHERN OHIO. ALL THREE OF THE EXPECTED STORM TRACKS WERE 
QUITE ACTIVE IN DECEMBER...WITH THE ALBERTA CLIPPERS AND TEXAS LOWS 
BEING THE MOST DOMINANT. AS THESE LOWS CHARGED ACROSS THE COUNTRY...
THE CLIPPERS BROUGHT WAVE AFTER WAVE OF COLD ARCTIC AIR...WHILE THE 
TEXAS LOWS SUPPLIED THE BULK OF THE SNOW. 

BY MID JANUARY...HOWEVER...THE WINTER WEATHER PATTERN BASICALLY DID 
AN ABOUT-FACE AS COMPARATIVELY MUCH MILDER AND MORE TRANQUIL WEATHER 
SET IN. TEMPERATURES AVERAGED ABOVE NORMAL AND SNOWFALL BELOW NORMAL 
RIGHT THROUGH FEBRUARY. DETROIT AND FLINT BOTH MADE EITHER THE TOP
TWENTY SNOWLESS AND/OR DRIEST LISTS IN BOTH MONTHS WITH MOST AREAS 
SEEING ABOUT HALF THE USUAL SNOWFALL. AS WAS NOTED IN SEVERAL OF THE 
STUDIED WINTERS...THE ACTIVE STORM TRACKS OF EARLY WINTER BECAME MORE 
INTERMITTENT AND MOVED FURTHER NORTH AS THE JET STREAM BECAME MORE 
ZONAL AND ONLY OCCASIONALLY BUCKLED...BRINGING COLD AND/OR SNOW TO THE 
REGION. THIS TYPE OF PATTERN CHANGE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MILDER TREND 
NOTED AT SOME POINT MID-LATE WINTER IN SEVERAL OF THE EXAMINED WINTERS. 
ITS LENGTH AND TIMING DID VARY SOMEWHAT...WHICH WAS STATED IN THE WINTER 
OUTLOOK.

AS WINTER WANED...COLDER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES DID RETURN TO THE 
REGION IN MARCH BUT SNOWFALL REMAINED BELOW NORMAL...ESPECIALLY FROM 
FLINT NORTH INTO THE SAGINAW VALLEY/THUMB REGION. THE STORM TRACK DID 
SHIFT SOUTH ONCE AGAIN ACROSS THE SOUTHERN GREAT LAKES MAINLY FROM 
MID MARCH INTO EARLY APRIL. THE LAST OF THE POLAR BLASTS AND SNOW 
WERE OBSERVED IN MID APRIL AS WINTER FINALLY CONCEDED TO SPRING. 

IT SHOULD BE NOTED HERE THAT WHILE DETROIT METRO AIRPORT'S SEASONAL 
SNOWFALL CAME IN A FEW INCHES UNDER THE AVERAGE...NEARLY ALL OTHER
AREAS (INCLUDING SEVERAL COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS) IN EXTREME SOUTHEAST 
LOWER MICHIGAN HAD HIGHER SNOWFALL AMOUNTS...ESPECIALLY IN DECEMBER. 

COMPARING THIS PAST WINTER TO THE PREVIOUS WINTERS...

THE WINTER OF 1989-90 RESEMBLED THIS PAST WINTER OVERALL THE CLOSEST WITH 
A VERY SIMILAR TEMPERATURE TREND AND SEASONAL SNOWFALL. DECEMBER 1989 TOO 
WAS EXTREMELY COLD...WHILE JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 1990 WERE QUITE MILD... 
PARTICULARLY JANUARY. DECEMBER OF 1903...1917 AND 1985 WERE ALL ALSO 
VERY COLD. TOTAL SNOWFALL FOR THE 1989-90 WINTER SEASON ALSO JIVED WELL 
WITH THIS PAST WINTER IN BOTH AMOUNTS AND DISTRIBUTION BETWEEN THE CITIES. 
DURING THE WINTER OF 1989-90...THE HEAVIEST SNOW ALSO FELL ACROSS THE 
SAGINAW VALLEY AND THUMB REGION SOUTH INTO FLINT...WITH GRADUALLY LESSER 
AMOUNTS TO THE SOUTH. THIS SNOWFALL PATTERN ALSO REFLECTS TO A LARGE 
EXTENT THE STORM TRACKS SEEN THAT WINTER AND THIS PAST WINTER. THE MAIN 
DIFFERENCE WAS THAT DECEMBER 1989 WAS NOT NEARLY AS STORMY OR SNOWY AS 
DECEMBER 2000. AS FAR AS STORMY AND SNOWY DECEMBERS...DECEMBER 1929 AND 
1974...ALONG WITH DECEMBER 2000...RANK UP THERE AT/OR NEAR THE TOP 
FOR SNOWIEST DECEMBERS. OTHER RELATIVELY SNOWY DECEMBERS IN THE GROUP 
INCLUDE...1981 AND 1985.

WHILE THIS PAST JANUARY AND FEBRUARY WERE MILDER THAN NORMAL...NONE
OF THE THREE CITIES PLACED IN THE TOP TEN MILDEST FOR EITHER MONTH.
BUT IN JANUARY OF 1990 AND FEBRUARY 0F 1930....ALL CITIES PLACED IN THE 
TOP FIVE FOR WARMEST IN BOTH MONTHS.
 
ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT THAT SURFACED AS FAR AS TEMPERATURES WAS HOW 
CLOSE THIS PAST WINTER'S AVERAGE TEMPERATURES RESEMBLED THE AVERAGE 
TEMPERATURES OF ALL THE WINTERS COMBINED (SEE NUMBERS 2...3 AND 4).
ALL CITIES PLACED IN AT LESS THAN A HALF DEGREE DEPARTURE TO THE PAST 
WINTERS COMBINED AVERAGE.

DEEDLER

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