Meteorological Fall Wrap-up for Upper Michigan

With the transition into December comes the end of meteorological fall, which runs from September through November. Now that it is complete, let us see how meteorological fall of 2012 stacked up against previous years at several sites around Upper Michigan.

Temperature: average temp – rank (warmest)

Ironwood:    41.8F – 61/111

Houghton:    42.8F – 83/126

Iron River:    40.4F – 78/116

Iron Mountain:    44.4F – 53/117

NWS Marquette:    42.8F – 23/52

Marquette:    47.1F – 22/68


Precipitation: total – rank (wettest)

Ironwood:    9.24” – 52/111

Houghton:    9.65” – 47/126

Iron River:    6.67” – 75/116

Iron Mountain:    7.02” – 61/117

NWS Marquette:    11.46” – 16/52

Marquette:    10.51” – 23/68

Manistique:    8.75” – 38/116

Newberry:    10.70” – 28/120


Snowfall: total – rank (snowiest)

Ironwood:    23.2” – 58/111

Iron River:    7.8” – 65/116

Iron Mountain:    2.2” – 90/117

NWS Marquette:    20.9” – 28/52

Marquette:    7.2” – 59/68

Manistique:    4.0” – 53/116

Newberry:    10.7” – 62/120


Overall, most locations were around the middle of the pack in terms of temperature, but on the higher end in terms of precipitation. As for snowfall, several locations ranked in the middle, except Iron Mountain and Marquette, which were both near the bottom in their respective rankings.

Much of the higher precipitation rankings can be attributed to a wetter than normal September and October across the area. November, in many locations, was actually below normal for precipitation. Also, a majority of the snowfall measured at the northern locations came from a winter storm on the day after Thanksgiving. In other words, snowfall rankings would have been much lower had the storm occurred just a week later.

So, what will we see for meteorological winter? Right now, there are no strong indications of how the winter will play out. The temperature outlook from the Climate Predicition Center shows a chance, albeit small, for below normal temperatures. However, this is weighted heavily on colder temperatures arriving in January and February. Like last year, our current pattern of above average temperatures may struggle to break down throughout the month, so the long term outlook remains quite difficult and is subject to change. For precipitation (not snowfall), the winter has equal chances to be above or below normal.


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