January 2009 ReCap

                             ...PERSISTENTLY COLD JANUARY...

EASILY...THE BIGGEST STORY FOR JANUARY WAS THE REMARKABLY PERSISTENT
COLD (YES...EVEN BY FRIGID JANUARY STANDARDS)...WITH THE VAST
MAJORITY OF DAYS THROUGH THE MONTH AVERAGING BELOW NORMAL...AND
SEVERAL NIGHTS FEATURING WELL BELOW ZERO TEMPERATURES. IN FACT...ALL
SITES LISTED...EXCLUDING SAULT STE MARIE...EXPERIENCED ONE OF THEIR
TOP TEN COLDEST JANUARYS ON RECORD. IRONICALLY...HOWEVER...NO RECORD
LOWS WERE SET FOR THE MONTH. AS IS USUALLY THE CASE WITH SUCH
TEMPERATURES...THE CULPRIT BEHIND THE REPEATED COLD INTRUSIONS WAS
MAINTENANCE OF A DEEP GREAT LAKES AND EASTERN CONUS TROUGH
AXIS...DOWNSTREAM OF WESTERN NOAM RIDGING. SUCH A PATTERN IS ALSO
TYPICALLY A DRY ONE...EXCEPT FOR THE FAVORED LAKE EFFECT SNOW BELT
REGIONS...AS GULF MOISTURE REMAINS WELL TO OUR SOUTH. AS THE NUMBERS
SHOW...THIS INDEED WAS THE CASE...WITH ALL SITES SHOWING MUCH BELOW
NORMAL PRECIPITATION...AND MOST REPORTING BELOW NORMAL SNOWFALL (THE
ONE EXCEPTION BEING ALPENA).

SO...WHY THE REASON FOR BELOW NORMAL SNOWFALL EVEN IN FAVORED AREAS?
WELL...A COUPLE BIG REASONS STAND OUT. ONE...THE REMARKABLE COLD
CONDITIONS LED TO RAPIDLY DEVELOPING GREAT LAKES ICE COVER...WHICH
SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED EFFECTIVE FETCH LENGTHS (DISTANCE OF OPEN
WATER OVER WHICH THE WIND BLOWS)...RESULTING IN LESS AVAILABLE
MOISTURE FOR HEAVY SNOW SHOWERS. THIS WAS ESPECIALLY A KEY PLAYER
LATER IN THE MONTH...WHEN MUCH OF NORTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN FROM BEAVER
ISLAND AND POINTS NORTH WAS ICE COVERED...WITH PLENTY OF PANCAKE
(FLOATING) ICE OVER THE MID LAKE AREAS. SECONDLY...THE VERY COLD AIR
OFTEN SUPPORTED THE DEVELOPMENT OF VERY SMALL SNOWFLAKES. THESE ARE
FAMOUS FOR REDUCING VISIBILITIES...BUT STRUGGLE TO ACCUMULATE
EFFICIENTLY AS THE SNOW BECOMES MORE "DENSE"...SIMILAR TO WHAT
HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE WARM TEMPERATURES AND A VERY WET SNOW. THE ONE
EXCEPTION TO THE SNOW DROUGHT WAS AT ALPENA...WHERE NORTH TO
NORTHEAST WIND FLOW LAKE ENHANCEMENT WAS COMMON...LEADING TO ONE OF
THE MORE SNOWY JANUARYS IN RECORED HISTORY AT THAT STATION.

NOW...ONTO THE VERY COLD NUMBERS FOR THE MONTH. ENJOY.

HERE IS A LOOK AT HOW SOME LOCATIONS FARED WITH RESPECT TO THEIR
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES DURING JANUARY 2009 (MAX...MIN...AND MEAN
VALUES REPRESENT AVERAGE VALUES DURING THE MONTH):

                                           SSM       HTL       APN       TVC       GLR*      ALL

JAN MAX 2009                 18.4      20.0        21.5      22.3        18.4      20.1
MAX DEPARTURE           -3.1       -5.9         -4.6       -5.0         -6.8       -5.1

JAN MEAN 2009                9.9      10.4        11.9      15.7        10.1      11.6
MEAN DEPARTURE        -3.3       -7.4         -5.9       -5.2         -7.3       -5.8

JAN MIN 2009                    1.3         0.7          2.4        9.0          1.8         3.0
MIN DEPARTURE            -3.6       -9.0         -7.1      -5.4         -7.8        -6.6

*UNOFFICIAL DATA (OBSERVED TEMPERATURE DATA IS FROM AUTOMATED
SURFACE OBSERVING SYSTEM (ASOS) AND NORMAL DATA IS COMPILED FROM
COOPERATIVE OBSERVER SITES IN VICINITY OF ASOS SITES)

- WITH AN AVERAGE JANUARY TEMPERATURE OF 10.4 DEGREES AT HOUGHTON
LAKE ...THIS WAS THE 3RD COLDEST JANUARY ON RECORD SINCE 1913.

- WITH AN AVERAGE JANUARY TEMPERATURE OF 11.9 DEGREES AT
ALPENA...THIS WAS THE 7TH COLDEST JANUARY ON RECORD SINCE 1916.

- WITH AN AVERAGE JANUARY TEMPERATURE OF 15.7 DEGREES AT TRAVERSE
CITY ...THIS TIED FOR THE 8TH COLDEST JANUARY ON RECORD SINCE 1896.

- WITH AN AVERAGE JANUARY TEMPERATURE OF 10.1 DEGREES AT
GAYLORD...THIS WAS THE 5TH COLDEST JANUARY ON RECORD SINCE 1893.
___________________________________________________________________

HERE IS A LOOK AT HOW SOME LOCATIONS FARED WITH RESPECT TO LIQUID
PRECIPITATION (RAIN AND MELTED FROZEN PRECIPITATION) DURING JANUARY
2009:

                                                               SSM       HTL       APN      TVC*      GLR**

TOTAL PRECIPITATION (IN)            1.29       1.12       1.39      1.79       1.16
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL       -1.35      -0.49     -0.37     -1.19      -1.89

*UNOFFICIAL DATA (OBSERVED PRECIPITATION IS FROM THE COOPERATIVE
OBSERVER SITE IN THE VICINITY OF THE ASOS SITE AND NORMAL
PRECIPITATION DATA IS COMPILED FROM THE ASOS SITE)

**UNOFFICIAL DATA (OBSERVED AND NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS FROM THE
COOPERATIVE OBSERVER IN THE VICINITY OF THE ASOS SITE)
___________________________________________________________________

HERE IS A LOOK AT HOW SOME LOCATIONS FARED WITH RESPECT TO SNOWFALL
DURING JANUARY 2009:

                                                              SSM       HTL       APN      TVC*      GLR**

TOTAL SNOWFALL (IN)                   21.7       16.4       30.0      27.9        31.7
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL     -13.3         -1.9      +8.2        -2.3        -7.1

*UNOFFICIAL DATA (OBSERVED SNOWFALL IS FROM THE COOPERATIVE OBSERVER
SITE IN THE VICINITY OF THE ASOS SITE AND NORMAL SNOWFALL DATA IS
COMPILED FROM THE ASOS SITE)

**UNOFFICIAL DATA (OBSERVED AND NORMAL SNOWFALL DATA IS COMPILED
FROM THE COOPERATIVE OBSERVER SITE IN THE VICINITY OF THE ASOS SITE)

- WITH 30.0 INCHES OF SNOWFALL AT ALPENA DURING JANUARY...THIS WAS
THE 11TH SNOWIEST JANUARY ON RECORD SINCE 1916.
____________________________________________________________________

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MORE NOTABLE WEATHER EVENTS DURING JANUARY
2009:

- JANUARY 1ST THRU 3RD...MONTH BEGAN THE SAME WAY DECEMBER
ENDED...ON A SNOWY NOTE. COLD AIR CROSSING THE STILL MAINLY UNFROZEN
GREAT LAKES (THIS WOULD SOON CHANGE) KICKED OFF SEVERAL BOUTS OF
LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS. SEVERAL LOCATION IN THE FAVORED SNOWBELTS
RECEIVED WELL OVER A HALF FOOT OF SNOW THROUGH THIS PERIOD.

- JANUARY 8TH AND 9TH...MORE LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS TARGETED THE
TRADITIONAL AREAS OF NORTHWEST LOWER AND EASTERN UPPER MICHIGAN. THE
HEAVIEST AMOUNTS FELL AT PARADISE...WHICH RECORDED 8.5 INCHES...AND
BELLAIRE...WHICH RECEIVED 8.0 INCHES.

- JANUARY 12TH AND 13TH...A COMBINATION OF SYSTEM AND LAKE SNOW OUT
AHEAD OF RAPIDLY ADVANCING POLAR AIRMASS BROUGHT MORE WIDESPREAD
ACCUMULATING SNOW TO THE NORTHWOODS. AS IS OFTEN THE CASE...THE
GREATEST AMOUNTS WERE RESERVED FOR THE LAKE EFFECT ZONES...WHERE 4
TO 6 INCHES WERE COMMON.

- JANUARY 13TH THRU 20TH...AIRMASS DIRECTLY FROM THE NORTH POLE PAID
AN EXTENDED VISIT TO NORTHERN MICHIGAN...WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES
STRUGGLING TO REACH EVEN THE LOWER TEENS (MOST LOCATIONS REMAINED IN
THE SINGLE DIGITS...BOTH ABOVE AND BELOW ZERO) AND OVERNIGHT LOWS
WELL BELOW ZERO. IN FACT...IN THE TYPICAL COLDER LOCATIONS IN
INTERIOR LOCALES...OVERNIGHT LOWS DIPPING BELOW -20F WERE COMMON
THROUGH THIS PERIOD. AS ONE CAN IMAGINE GIVEN SUCH COLD
CONDITIONS...LAKE EFFECT SNOWS WERE COMMON PLACE. INCREASING GREAT
LAKES ICE COVER AND CONDITIONS TOO COLD FOR GOOD SNOW GROWTH (VERY
COLD TEMPERATURES FAVOR SMALL FLAKE SIZE...WHICH WHILE GREATLY
REDUCING VISIBILITIES...STRUGGLE TO ACCUMULATE)...KEPT OVERALL LAKE
CONTRIBUTIONS IN CHECK THROUGH THIS PERIOD. HOWEVER...A VIGOROUS
ALBERTA CLIPPER ON JANUARY 16TH...COMBINING WITH SOME OF THIS LAKE
MOISTURE...DROPPED LOCALLY VERY HEAVY SNOW ALONG THE US-131 CORRIDOR
OVER ANTRIM AND KALKASKA COUNTIES...WITH TOTALS APPROACHING 13
INCHES IN THIS REGION. SNOW AMOUNTS WERE LIGHTER ELSEWHERE FROM THIS
SYSTEM...WITH AMOUNTS GENERALLY 2 TO 6 INCHES. ALL IN ALL...THROUGH
THIS WEEK LONG PERIOD...ADDITIONAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 12 TO 24
INCHES FELL ACROSS FAVORED LAKE ZONES...WITH SUBSTANTIALLY LESSER
AMOUNTS ELSEWHERE.

- JANUARY 23RD AND 24TH...AFTER A BRIEF 2 DAY WARM-UP (MAYBE MORE
APPROPRIATELY CALLED "A MODIFICATION")...ANOTHER ARCTIC SURGE
DROPPED TEMPERATURES WELL BELOW ZERO OVER FAVORED AREAS...WITH
INDIAN RIVER AND KINROSS COMING IN WITH OVERNIGHT LOWS OF -15F AND
-16F RESPECTIVELY. LAKE EFFECT SNOWS DROPPED ANOTHER 4 TO 5 INCHES
ACROSS PARTS OF KALKASKA COUNTY (BY FAR THE SNOWIEST COUNTY DURING
JANUARY).

- JANUARY 29TH AND 30TH...GUESS WHAT? MORE OF THE SAME ACROSS THE
NORTHWOODS AS AN ALBERTA CLIPPER TYPE SYSTEM BROUGHT A GENERAL LIGHT
SNOW TO THE AREA...WITH ACCUMULATIONS AVERAGING AN INCH OR TWO.
HOWEVER...AS WAS THE CASE ALL MONTH...COLD AIR BLOWING OVER THE
REMAINING VESTIGES OF OPEN NORTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN WATER BROUGHT
ADDITIONAL SNOW TO THE FAVORED SNOWBELTS. TOTAL GENERALLY RANGED
FROM 3 TO 6 INCHES BETWEEN EAST JORDAN AND WELLSTON. ISOLATED HIGHER
TOTALS WERE REPORTED...WITH 8.4 INCHES NEAR ELLSWORTH AND 8.1 INCHES
NEAR LAKE LEELANAU.
___________________________________________________________________

HERE ARE DAILY TEMPERATURE...PRECIPITATION...AND SNOWFALL RECORDS
THAT OCCURRED DURING JANUARY 2009:

- A RECORD SNOWFALL OF 6.6 INCHES WAS SET AT HOUGHTON LAKE JANUARY
17TH. THIS BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 4.2 INCHES SET IN 1992.

- A RECORD SNOWFALL OF 6.2 INCHES WAS SET AT ALPENA JANUARY 18TH.
THIS BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 6.1 INCHES...SET IN 1960.

                     **********************

FOR ADDITIONAL CLIMATE INFORMATION INCLUDING UP TO DATE LOCAL
CLIMATE GRAPHICS...SEASONAL OUTLOOKS...AND EL NINO INFORMATION...
PLEASE VISIT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES:

GAYLORD NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
  WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/APX/CLIMATE.PHP

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
  HTTP://WWW.CPC.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/

EL NINO AND LA NINA INFORMATION
  HTTP://WWW.CPC.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/ANALYSIS_MONITORING/ENSO_ADVISORY/

FOR MORE INFORMATION...CONTACT THE GAYLORD NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
AT (989) 731-3384...EXTENSION 726 OR 766.

$$

MSB



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