Summary of the 2012-2013 Meteorological Winter

With the turn of the calendar to March, we transition to Meteorological Spring a couple weeks before the official start of Spring. Thus, let’s take a look at the Meteorological Winter (December – February) that just ended for our office in Negaunee Township.

This winter was a tale of two halves, with the first half more reminiscent of late fall with above normal temperatures and dry conditions, while the second half contained more traditional winter weather with below normal temperatures and plenty of snowfall.

First Half summary (December 1, 2012 through January 14, 2013):

 

Actual

Normal

Departure

Rank

Average Temperature

23.2

17.2

+5.0

5th Warmest

Precipitation

3.37"

3.67"

-0.30"

 
Snowfall

30.7"

62.4"

-31.7"

9th Least Snowy

Second half summary (January 15, 2012 through February 28, 2013):

 

Actual

Normal

Departure

Rank

Average Temperature

12.8

14.6

-1.8

20th Coolest

Precipitation

5.32"

3.45"

+1.87"

5th Wettest

Snowfall

82.2"

59.5"

+22.7"

4th Snowiest

The picture below is a good example of the differences in the two halves, with little to no snow on the ground in Harvey, Michigan on January 12th, but around 20” of snow were on the ground at the end of February.

 Harvey Snow cover difference

Overall, this Meteorological Winter ended up above normal on temperatures, due to the very warm December. Precipitation was well above normal (1.57" above and was the 8th wettest), while the snowfall over the second half of the winter pushed snowfall amounts close to normal.

Meteorological Winter 2012-2013 Overview

Outlook heading into Spring

First week of March looks to be below normal temperature wise, with limited precipitation. Latest indications are showing the second week of March to be near normal temperature wise, but the Climate Forecast System is showing the potential for below normal temperatures for the end of March.

In addition, the Climate Prediction Center is showing equal chances of normal, above normal, or below normal temperatures and precipitation during March (left images below). Looking at the 3-month period from March through May, the latest forecast is for Upper Michigan is for a greater potential for above normal temperatures and precipitation (right images below).

March 2013 Outlook

March - May 2013 Outlook

March 2013 Temperature Forecast March - May 2013 Temperature Forecast
March 2013 Precipitation Forecast March through May 2013 Precipitation Forecast

Note: climate data at the National Weather Service office in Negaunee Township dates back to 1961.



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