Northern Michigan Christmas Climatology

Another Christmas holiday is upon us next week. With this in mind, lets take a look back at some past Christmas holidays. The rankings outlined below are for the time periods stated here:

Alpena 1916-2006

Sault Sainte Marie 1888-2007

Houghton Lake 1913-2007

Gaylord 1893-2007

Traverse City 1896-2007

It’s important to note that Alpena, Sault Sainte Marie, and Houghton Lake are all official climate locations. Gaylord and Traverse City are composed entirely of cooperative observer data and all data and records are unofficial.

Weather for Past 5 Christmas Holidays:

Alpena High Low Avg. Snowfall Snowdepth
2006 39 29 34.0 0.0 0
2005 35 33 34.0 T 7
2004 13 -13 0.0 0.1 11
2003 38 27 32.5 5.8 6
2002 29 25 27.0 T 1
Sault Sainte Marie High Low Avg. Snowfall Snowdepth
2006 35 30 32.5 0.1 0
2005 36 29 32.5 0.0 10
2004 8 -9 -0.5 0.7 15
2003 26 21 23.5 4.1 13
2002 30 16 23.0 0.6 7
Houghton Lake High Low Avg. Snowfall Snowdepth
2006 37 32 34.5 0.0 0
2005 34 32 33.0 T 4
2004 10 -9 0.5 T 7
2003 30 24 27.0 3.0 5
2002 29 24 26.5 0.0 1
Gaylord High Low Avg. Snowfall Snowdepth
2006 40 27 33.5 T T
2005 36 30 33.0 0.0 9
2004 13 -4 4.5 1.0 17
2003 28 22 25.0 2.0 9
2002 26 21 23.5 0.0 5
Traverse City High Low Avg. Snowfall Snowdepth
2006 38 32 35.0 0.0 0
2005 37 34 35.5 0.0 T
2004 13 -6 3.5 0.5 11
2003 34 17 25.5 3.0 4
2002 32 27 29.5 0.0 1

Top 5 Warmest Christmas Holidays (Avg. Temperature):

  Alpena Sault Sainte Marie Houghton Lake Gaylord Traverse City
1 51.5 (1982) 39.5 (1895) 46.5 (1982) 47.5 (1982) 47.0 (1982)
2 43.5 (1932) 37.5 (1932) 43.0 (1932) 36.0 (1994) 44.0 (1940)
3 38.0 (1936) 36.5 (1982) 38.5 (1936) 33.5 (2006) 42.5 (1932)
4 36.5 (1940) 36.0 (1891) 38.0 (1940) 33.0 (2005) 41.0 (1936)
5 36.0 (1994) 35.5 (1928) 35.5 (1913) 32.0 (1954) 37.0 (1913)

Top 5 Coldest Christmas Holidays (Avg Temperature):

Alpena Sault Sainte Marie Houghton Lake Gaylord Traverse City
1 -3.5 (1985) -8.0 (1980) -2.5 (1985) -4.0 (1921) 3.5 (2004)
2 0.0 (2004) -7.5 (1985) 0.5 (2004) -1.5 (1985) 6.0 (1983)
3 2.0 (1968) -6.0 (1968) 0.5 (1924) 2.5 (1924) 8.5 (1993)
4 2.0 (1935) -5.0 (1993) 1.0 (1921) 4.0 (1958) 8.5 (1958)
5 3.5 (1958) -3.5 (1948) 2.5 (1968) 4.5 (2004) 9.0 (1984)

Top 5 Snowiest Christmas Holidays (Avg Temperature):

Alpena Sault Sainte Marie Houghton Lake Gaylord Traverse City
1 6.0 (1918) 8.0 (1992) 2.7 (1945) 7.5 (1938) 7.4 (1995)
2 5.8 (2003) 5.9 (1977) 2.0 (1918) 7.0 (1979) 7.0 (1985)
3 2.7 (1967) 5.2 (1933) 1.9 (1990) 6.5 (1977) 6.4 (1993)
4 2.4 (1966) 4.8 (1993) 1.5 (1925) 5.5 (1974) 6.0 (1992)
5 2.0 (1962) 4.7 (1894) 1.4 (1992) 5.0 (1993) 5.0 (1918)

Top 5 Deepest Snowdepth Christmas Holidays (Avg Temperature):

Alpena Sault Sainte Marie Houghton Lake Gaylord Traverse City
1 20 (1929) 34 (1995) 15 (1951) 30 (1985) 23 (1989)
2 16 (1989) 28 (1980) 12 (1995) 28 (1983) 22 (1985)
3 15 (1970) 23 (1958) 11 (1925) 23 (2000) 21 (1909)
4 15 (1951) 22 (1985) 11 (1914) 23 (1995) 19 (1958)
5 15 (1933) 21 (1983) 10 (1942) 21 (1978) 19 (1910)

The Christmas of 2004 was rather chilly for Northern Michigan standards, while last Christmas, 2006, was rare, with little or no snow on the ground across most of Northern Michigan.

Christmas day this year will feature overcast skies, but no precipitation. High temperatures will be slightly above normal, reaching the lower to middle 30s this afternoon. For current thoughts and ideas on the forecast, please check out the Area Forecast Discussion.

Historical Chances of a White Christmas

For addition news and forecasts:

Weather Story of the Day

Alpena Forecast

Sault Sainte Marie Forecast

Houghton Lake Forecast

Gaylord Forecast

Traverse City Forecast



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