Lack of November Snow So Far

As hard as it is to believe, for the 4th consecutive November, northern Michigan is once again experiencing a very slow start to winter. The reason for this setup is rather simple this year. Strong low pressure has remained essentially "stuck" near the Gulf of Alaska for the past few weeks, sending a strong Pacific jet stream plowing into much of the Lower 48. This pattern has effectively kept all of the cold air into Canada, while allowing mild and mainly dry weather to dominate across the northern tier of the country, including here in northern Michigan. As we look at the month of November so far, snowfall events have been nearly non-existent.

However, all is not lost! There are strong signs that we are headed into a much colder and snowier period from this coming Friday through at least early December, with several chances for accumulating lake effect and system snow.

Below is a look at current snowfall totals this month across the area, along with the current deficits. These will likely be changing significantly the next week to 10 days.

Location

November Snowfall to Date

Normal November Snowfall

Monthly Deficit

Last November with Normal Snowfall

 Least Snowy November

Alpena

0.0"

7.5"

-7.5"
(0% of normal)

12.4" (2008-2009)

Trace (1954)

Gaylord

1.3"

20.5"

-19.2"
(6% of normal)

31.1" (2008-2009)

1.6" (2009)

Petoskey

0.0"

8.4"

-8.4"
(0% of normal)

12.0" (2008-2009)

Trace (2006)

Traverse City

0.2"

3.6"

-3.4"
(1% of normal)

8.3" (2008-2009)

0.2" (2004)

Sault Ste Marie

0.0"

14.2"

-14.2"
(0% of normal)

29.9" (2008-2009)

0.3" (1899)

Houghton Lake

0.2"

8.2"

-8.0"
(2% of normal)

18.3" (2008-2009)

Trace (2011)

Here are the snowfall totals from the past 4 Novembers - including this year. As you can see, November snowfall has been hard to come in recent years.

Year

Alpena

Gaylord

Petoskey

Traverse City

Sault Ste. Marie

Houghton Lake

2012

0.0"

1.3"

0.0"

0.2"

0.0"

0.2"

2011

0.2"

8.1"

0.0"

2.4"

6.9"

0.0"

2010

0.6"

5.1"

2.0"

0.6"

9.1"

1.4"

2009

1.6"

1.6"

0.0"

0.0"

4.1"

0.7"

Average of past 4 years

0.6"

4.0"

0.5"

0.8"

5.0"

0.6"

We can also look at and rank the number of consecutive days where the daily recorded snowfall was less than one inch. Only four of our major six reporting stations have been included, since they have the longest periods of consistent snowfall data from year to year.

 Location and Period of Snowfall Record
Rank/Number of Consecutive Days <1" in 2012/End Date Most consecutive days <1" (End Date)
Alpena (1916 - Now) #3 / 260 / November 18th (ongoing) 278 (12/1/2010)

Gaylord (1940 - Now)

#1 / 247 / November 12th 247 (11/12/2012)

Sault Ste Marie (1888- Now)

#61 / 178 / Octover 10th 274 (12/18/1998)

Houghton Lake (1919 - Now)

#34 / 223 / November 8th 290 (11/26/2010)

 


On a different note, we can also look at the lack of cold temperatures that were seen in early spring and again this fall. Most, if not all of our six major reporting stations are on track to have the warmest year on record, in terms of average temperature. Amoung the many ways we can rank and quantify the very warm year we've had, is the number of consecutive days at or above a certain high temperature; in this case we chose to look at the number of consecutive days at or above 35 degrees.

Location Rank / Number of Consecutive Days 35°F in 2012 / End Date Most consecutive days 35°F (End Date)
Alpena  #5 / 254 / November 18th (ongoing)  269 (12/06/1948)
Gaylord  #23 / 217 / November 2nd  249 (11/22/1994)
Pellston  #9 / 240 / November 4th  267 (11/23/2010)
Traverse City  #7 / 254 / November 18th (ongoing)  275 (12/19/1998)
Sault Ste. Marie  #6 / 233 / November 18th (ongoing)  268 (16/16/1998)
Houghton Lake  #21 / 233 / November 18th (ongoing)  275 (11/24/1958)

 



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