By JIM ANDERSON
IRON MOUNTAIN - The spring period from March through May was the 12th-coolest on record at Iron Mountain-Kingsford, the National Weather Service reported.
A duck and her ducklings cross Hughitt Street near the corner of Hemlock Street in Iron Mountain. Spring weather in Iron Mountain-Kingsford has been great — for ducks. Precipitation from March through May totaled 9.2 inches, which was 2.15 inches above normal.
Temperatures during that three-month span averaged 37.7 degrees, which was 3.3 degrees below normal, said Kevin Crupi, weather service meteorologist at Marquette. The coolest March through May occurred in 1950, when the average temperature was 35.4 degrees.
The long-range forecast suggests a reversal in the months ahead, with a greater than climatological chance of above-normal temperatures from July through September, Crupi said. Normal weather patterns are expected for the rest of June.
Meanwhile, spring precipitation has wiped out drought conditions across Michigan and Wisconsin. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the nearest area of concern is western Minnesota, the edge of a drought that covers nearly all of the western U.S.
At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, water-equivalent precipitation from March through May totaled 9.2 inches, which was 2.15 inches above normal and the 17th-highest on record.
"For the fourth month in a row, an upper trough in eastern and central North America dominated the weather in the Great Lakes in May, resulting in generally cool and wet weather over at least the west half of Upper Michigan," Crupi said.
The heaviest May showers fell over the far western U.P., with Ironwood receiving a near-record 7.14 inches.
At Iron Mountain-Kingsford, May precipitation totaled 3.63 inches, which was 0.59 inches above normal. The average temperature was 53.5 degrees, which was 0.2 degrees below normal.
The highest temperature was 86 degrees on May 30 and the lowest was 23 degrees on May 13. There was a trace of snowfall on both May 11 and 12.
Statistics for the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Wastewater Treatment Plant cooperative observer site are based on records that began in March 1931. Normals used are for the period 1981 through 2010.
The Climate Prediction Center forecasts normal precipitation trends in the Upper Peninsula from June through September. Sunshine this month peaks at 950 minutes around the summer solstice, which occurs at 1:04 a.m. (Eastern time) on June 20.
Some other temperature and precipitation observations across the U.P. in May:
- Ironwood, average temperature 50.1 (1.8 degrees below normal), precipitation 7.14 inches (4.01 inches above normal), snowfall 15.1 inches (13.2 inches above normal).
- Baraga, average temperature 47.9 degrees, precipitation 3.5 inches, snowfall 1.5 inches.
- Marquette, average temperature 46.5 (4.5 degrees below normal), precipitation 2.49 inches (0.04 inches below normal), snowfall none (0.6 inches below normal)
- Munising, average temperature 47.3 (2.7 degrees below normal), precipitation 2.78 inches (0.15 inches below normal), snowfall 1.2 inches (0.9 inches above normal).
- Newberry, average temperature 52.3 (0.7 degrees above normal), precipitation 2.60 inches (0.01 inch below normal), snowfall 2.3 inches (2.2 inches above normal).
- Iron River, average temperature 51.1 degrees, precipitation 3.03 inches, snowfall 0.8 inches.
- Norway, average temperature 53.8 degrees, precipitation 3.01 inches, snowfall 0.4 inches.
- Escanaba, average temperature 53.8 degrees, precipitation 2.02 inches, snowfall none.
- Garden Corners, average temperature 51.5 degrees, precipitation 3.1 inches, snowfall trace.
- Manistique, average temperature 49.3 (normal), precipitation 3.1 inches (0.37 inches above normal), snowfall none.
Jim Anderson's email address is email@example.com.