Wet and Cool Spring

 

Spring  Highlights:

(1) This spring started rather cool, with both March and April coming in with below normal temperatures.  This continued a trend first established during mid-winter.  Some recovery occurred in May, when average temperatures were slightly above normal.  Overall, this spring averaged just a touch on the cool side, but still fell well within long term normal levels.

(2) Despite a somewhat dry start, frequent bouts of rain and snow during April and May resulted in precipitation averaging well above normal, especially across northern lower Michigan.  All northern lower Michigan sites listed reported one of their top ten wettest springs on record, led by Traverse City (3rd wettest) and Gaylord (tied 4th wettest).  

(3) Much like the winter, snow primarily targeted the traditional snow belts of both peninsulas, where totals averaged several inches above normal.  Sault Ste. Marie (39.4 inches) reported their 5th snowiest spring on record.  Snowfall was less frequent away from the favored lake areas, where totals averaged at least a few inches below normal.

Spring Temperature Data:

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - 2013)

Spring Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

37.8

39.4

-1.6

N/A

46.9 / 2010

31.2 / 1923

 

Houghton Lake (1919 - 2013)

Spring Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

41.4

41.9

-0.5 

N/A 

49.0 / 2012

36.5 / 1923

 

Alpena (1916 - 2013)

Spring Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

40.0

40.9

-0.9 

N/A 

46.4 / 2012*

35.0 / 1926

 

Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport (1897 - 2013)

Spring Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

42.1

42.5

-0.4 

N/A 

50.1 / 2012

37.3 / 1950*

 

Gaylord COOP (1951 - 2001); Gaylord Airport (2001-2013)

Spring Mean

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Warm/Year

Record Cold/Year

39.3

40.7

-1.4

N/A

47.4 / 1977

37.3 / 2002

 

Spring Precipitation Data:

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - 2013)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

8.17

6.91

+1.26

N/A

11.50 / 1985

2.39 / 2010

 

Houghton Lake (1919 - 2013)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

10.68

7.14

+3.54

8th Wettest 

13.02 / 2004

3.08 / 1958

 

Alpena (1916 - 2013)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

10.45

6.92

+3.53 

9th Wettest

13.81 / 1983

2.57 / 1925

 

Traverse City Airport (1930 - 1993); Traverse City COOP (2001 - 2013)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

11.59

7.71

+3.88

3rd Wettest

15.70 / 1942

2.25 / 1987

 

Gaylord Cooperative Observing Station (1940 - 2013)

Precipitation

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Wettest/Year

Record Driest/Year

11.50

7.88

+3.62

Tied 4th Wettest

13.23 / 1983

3.56 / 1958

  

Spring Snowfall Data:

Sault Ste Marie (1888 - 2013)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

39.4

20.2

+19.2 

5th Snowiest

46.6 / 2002

2.5 / 1915

 

Houghton Lake (1919 - 2013)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

9.7

12.1

-2.4 

N/A

46.8 / 1923

Trace / 2010

 

Alpena (1916 - 2013)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

10.1

18.2

-8.1

N/A

54.8 / 1926

0.3 / 2010

 

Traverse City Airport (1930 - 1993); Traverse City COOP (2001 - 2013)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

20.6

13.4

+7.2 

N/A

33.6 / 1959

0.1 / 2010

 

Gaylord Cooperative Observing Station (1940 - 2013)

Snowfall

Normal

Departure

Ranking

Record Snowfall/Year

Least Snowfall/Year

32.6

23.0

+9.6

N/A

53.5 / 2002

2.5 / 1968

 For a running seasonal total snowfall from July 1st for the selected sites above, please visit Seasonal Snowfall Totals for Northern Michigan.

- all averages are calculated using the new 1981 - 2010 period

( ) = Consistent years of record; Record temperature data for Gaylord is a combination of Gaylord Airport (2001-2011) and the Cooperative Observing Station records (1951-2001), Record precipitation data for Traverse City is a combination of Cherry Capital Airport (1930-1993) and the Cooperative Observing Station records (2001-2011)

- only rankings in the top 10 will be entered

* = Record occurred in multiple years/dates; latest year/date shown

**THESE DATA ARE PRELIMINARY AND HAVE NOT UNDERGONE FINAL QUALITY CONTROL BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER. THEREFORE, THESE DATA ARE SUBJECT TO REVISION. FINAL AND CERTIFIED CLIMATE DATA CAN BE ACCESSED AT WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV.*

For additional climate information and atmospheric and oceanic features that drive the patterns across our area, please visit the following links:

Latest Central Pacific Ocean Temperature Trends      Large Scale Atmospheric Blocking Features      Local Climate Home Page      Latest Drought Information

* Data for Traverse City is derived from a composite of observations taken at both Cherry Capital Airport and the cooperative observing station at Munson Medical Center. This data is for informational purposes only and does not meet climatological standards. This data set may include periods with missing data…particularly snowfall data from 1993-2001.

**Data for Gaylord is derived from a composite of observations taken at both Gaylord-Otsego County Airport and the cooperative observing station located near downtown Gaylord. This data is for informational purposes only and does not meet climatological standards. This data set may include periods with missing data and data that has been recorded from different observing points throughout history.



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.