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Winter kicks up its heels early

Canadian air brings lake-effect snow; wettest year to date in US

Sally Spigarelli cleans up leaves Friday outside her house on West A Street in Iron Mountain. Another week of cold weather is ahead, but the National Weather Service says it doesn’t mean winter conditions are here to stay. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — The National Weather Service has a neutral outlook on Upper Peninsula trends for late fall and early winter, even as Canadian air ushers in November snow.

The long-range forecast for the three-month period from November through January calls for equal chances of above-average or below-average temperatures and precipitation.

In the short term, cold air from the north will deliver more lake-effect snow to the U.P., forecasters say. The Marquette area received 8 to 10 inches Thursday and light snowfall was predicted for the Dickinson County area early today. There’s a chance for more snow at mid-week.

Temperatures will likely stay below freezing through Thursday.

In a winter forecast issued last month, the weather service predicted off-and-on blasts of frigid air. With no El Nino or La Nina in the central Pacific, there is more room for global climate factors to influence dramatic weather swings, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the service’s Climate Prediction Center.

Temperatures in October at Iron Mountain-Kingsford averaged 44.3 degrees, which was about 2 degrees below normal. The highest temperature was 72 degrees Oct. 1 and the lowest was 19 degrees Oct. 30.

Water-equivalent precipitation measured 4.14 inches last month, which was 1.62 inches above average for records dating to the early 1900s. Only three months this calendar year have had below-average precipitation — March, June and August.

Precipitation through October has totaled 33.63 inches, already above the annual average of 29.85 inches observed at the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Wastewater Treatment Plant. The wettest year on record was 2017, at 39.31 inches.

The contiguous U.S. has had its wettest year to date on record, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Above-average precipitation has dominated much of the country with record-wet conditions occurring in portions of South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows no areas of concern across all of Michigan and Wisconsin.

Jim Anderson can be reached at 906-774-3500 ext. 226 or janderson@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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