January 17, 2018

December temperatures below average, but not record-breaking

Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — The average daily temperatures for the month of December were slightly below historical averages and aren’t expected to go up too much in the near future.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Andy Sullivan said the last several days in December were rather cold, but looking at the month as a whole, warmer temperatures early on offset the monthly average a bit.

“The first five days of the month were pretty warm,” he said. “It was in the 40s and there were even some days in the 50s.”

Throughout NWS Gaylord Post’s coverage area, the average daily temperatures in December were about 3 degrees below the historical average. Sullivan said the normal high per the NWS’ Standish data is 31 degrees with a low of 15. Data takes into account the daily median temperatures per day over the span of an entire month, and it shows that while December ended with frigid temperatures, as a whole it wasn’t far off the historical average.

“That’s pretty much the norm all across Northern Michigan,” he said. “It’s a few degrees below normal, but nothing record-wise.”

“If you could eliminate, which you can’t, those first six days, the last couple weeks have been 10, 15 degrees below normal per day,” Sullivan said.

The Alpena County Regional Airport was the lone recordbreaker last month, with a minus 19 reading Dec. 28, which was 10 degrees below its former record from 1967, according to Sullivan. He said the cold snap was a result of arctic air from Canada being pushed down into Michigan.

“We’re not getting the full brunt of it, but we’re getting pretty good shots of arctic air coming down from Canada over us,” he said.

“There’s a big ridge of high pressure on the West Coast and that kind of lodges that cold air from Canada and pushes it south,” Sullivan said.

Michigan is in a system that Sullivan described as a “river of cold air” compared to the East and West coasts of the U.S. He said the cold air isn’t expected to go away very soon.

“It does look like this cold air will stick around for at least another week or two weeks,” he said.

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