Warm and Dry Stretch Across Upper Michigan

At a time when snow and cold weather are beginning to cross the minds of most people across Upper Michigan, summer has reappeared with one last breath before winter arrives. After a very wet end to the month of September, a new month brings a new weather regime. A stagnant weather pattern with high pressure to the east and low pressure to the west has resulted in continued southerly winds bringing warm air northward.

No precipitation fell at the NWS office in Negaunee Township from October 1st through 10th. The 10 day total was the longest stretch of days with no recorded precipitation since April 8th-17th, 2009 (10 days).  Even though this summer was very dry across much of Upper Michigan, no more than six days passed without at least a trace of precipitation at the NWS office. The longest stretch on record occurred from May 13th-30th, 1986, a total of 18 days, while the longest streak since 2000 was set over a 12 day period from August 10th-21st, 2008.

In addition to the dry conditions, unseasonably warm temperatures have made an appearance across the U.P.  Below is a list of observed temperatures in October 2011 in addition to record temperatures prior to 2011 at the NWS office. Despite the warm days of late, no record maximum temperatures have been broken (only tied) as a similar bout of warm weather occurred in both 2005 and 2007.  Also, low temperatures have been close to normal for most of the period due to a combination of clear skies, light winds, and low dew points. Records that have been tied or broken are in bold red. All temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit.

The eight straight days with temperatures reaching at least 70°F is a record for this late in the season. Prior to this year, the longest streak in October was only five days. In fact, in 50 years of records, only twice has there been eight or more straight days of 70°F+ after September 10th!


Date 2011 Maximum 2011 Minimum Record Maximum  and Year

Record High Minimum  and Year*

Normal Maximum

Normal Minimum
10/1 53 32 83 (1976) 57(2000) 59 40
10/2 67 32 87 (1992) 60 (2005) 59 39
10/3 67 37 78 (2005) 65 (2005) 58 39
10/4 76 42 76 (2007) 60 (2005) 58 38
10/5 78 51 78 (2005) 54 (1969/2005) 57 38
10/6 77 51 79 (1961) 56 (2007) 57 38
10/7 78 52 84 (2007) 64 (2007) 56 37
10/8 81 61 83 (2007) 58 (1997) 56 37
10/9 72 46 77 (2003) 57 (1973) 55 37
10/10 75 43 75 (1973) 61 (1973) 55 36
10/11 75 52 77 (1995) 61 (1973) 54 36

* The "Record High Minimum" is the record for the warmest low temperature recorded on that calendar day.

 

Other Records

  • On October 4th, Chatham broke a record maximum temperature with a high of 80°F. This breaks the old record of 78°F set in 1912.
  • On October 8th, Houghton broke a record maximum temperature with a high of 83°F. This breaks the old record of 80°F set in 2003.
  • On October 8th, Marquette City tied the record maximum temperature of 82°F set in 2003.
  • On October 8th, Ironwood tied the record maximum temperature of 80°F set in 2010 and 1930.
  • On October 8th, Bergland broke a record maximum temperature with a high of 82°F. This breaks the old record of 79°F set in 2003 and 2007.
  • Many other locations have come close to tying record maximum temperatures, but have fallen a degree or two short.

Note

  • Records at the NWS office in Negaunee Township date back to 1961.
  • Records at Chatham date back to 1900.
  • Records at Houghton date back to 1887.
  • Records at Marquette City date back to 1948.
  • Records at Ironwood date back to 1901.
  • Records at Bergland date back to 1949.


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