Very Cold Temperatures from Mid November Through January Across Upper Michigan

For the second month in a row, arctic cold held Upper Michigan firmly in its grip during January 2009 as a persistent upper trough remained in place across eastern Canada and the Great Lakes. Mean monthly temperatures averaged between 3 degrees below normal at Newberry to nearly 7 degrees under the average at Ontonagon.  At many places, the mercury never reached the freezing point at all in January, which goes down in the record books as one of the top ten coldest first months.  The colder interior locations saw the thermometer read below zero on as many as 25 days during this frigid month. At Iron Mountain, January 2009 joins 1977 as the second coldest January on record with a mean temperature of 5.3 degrees, trailing only the brutally cold January of 1994...when the average was 3.0 degrees at Iron Mountain.

 

January Mean Temperature Statistics

                                                                 2009

               Obs Temp  Normal Temp  Departure  Record Low  Rank Coldest

Iron Mountain     5.3       12.4        -7.1     3.0 (1994)     Second

Ontonagon         9.0       15.8        -6.8     5.8 (1994)     Fourth

Manistique       11.1       16.1        -5.0     5.8 (1994)     Sixth

Marquette NWS     7.1       12.4        -5.3     2.9 (1994)     Seventh

Munising         11.7       17.9        -6.2     7.7 (1977)     Seventh

Ironwood          4.5        9.7        -5.2    -5.3 (1912)     Ninth

Houghton County   9.7       14.6        -4.9     4.9 (1994)     Ninth

 Airport

Newberry         12.2       15.2        -3.0     2.6 (1912)      18th

Marquette City   12.9       18.0        -5.1     1.3 (1912)      22nd

Actually, the persistent cold residents of Upper Michigan endured in January began as early as mid-November.  In fact, the period from 11/15/2008 through 1/31/2009 is now one of the top five coldest of those 78-day stretches on record at a number of locations.

 

Mid November through January Mean Temperature Statistics

 

            11/15/08-1/31/09   11/15/08-1/31/09       2008-2009

              Obs Mean Temp   Record Low Mean Temp   Rank Coldest

Iron Mountain     12.3          10.7 (1976-77)          Second

Ontonagon         15.2          13.9 (1978-79)          Second

Marquette NWS     12.9           8.8 (1976-77)          Third

Houghton County   14.8          11.4 (1976-77)          Third

 Airport

Munising          17.5          11.9 (1919-20)          Third

Manistique        17.7          16.3 (1983-84)          Third

Ironwood           9.9           6.4 (1976-77)          Fifth

Newberry          17.8          13.5 (1919-20)           13th

Marquette City    18.5          13.7 (1880-81)           15th

 

Note that thirty year normals used are for the period of 1971 through 2000 and all temperatures are in Fahrenheit.  All climate data listed in this product are unofficial.  For official data, please refer to the National Climatic Data Center at (828)271-4800 or www.ncdc.noaa.gov.  Also note this discussion does not include data from Chippewa and Mackinac counties.




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