Will Southwest Michigan Even Have A Winter This Year?
It may be a while before weather gets back to 'normal' in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.
It's hard not to notice the unseasonably warm weather this winter. In fact, I don't remember ever celebrating Christmas with sunshine and 60 degree weather in Michigan. This weekend I asked WWMT Meteorologist Jeff Porter what the heck is going on? Will we have an actual winter? It turns out we are eventually going to get back to normal. However, it will take some time. I'm going to relay the info he gave me word for word. I'm no meteorologist...it's safer this way. Here is Jeff's response,
These are the highlights from my findings:
* December's Average High in Battle Creek was more than 4 degrees warmer than normal
* December's Average Low in Battle Creek was more than 3 degrees warmer than normal
* December's snowfall in Battle Creek was well below normal (normal is 10")
* November's snowfall in Battle Creek was higher than normal, but largely because of one storm
* Battle Creek tallied 7 days with highs in the 50's in December
Let's get Kalamazoo centric ...
* December's Average High in Kalamazoo was more than 5 degrees warmer than normal
* December's Average Low in Kalamazoo was more than 4 degrees warmer than normal
* December's snowfall in Kalamazoo was roughly 9" below normal
* November's snowfall in Kalamazoo was just about normal
* Kalamazoo recorded 6 days in the 50's in December, 1 day in the 60's
1) December was clearly warmer than normal and less snowy than what is typical
2) I see minimal snow chances this week
3) The long range pattern continues to favor an active jet stream in the Pacific Northwest and California. Read active as jet stream dips and cooler conditions out west. The net result is the Midwest tends to be warmer when this is the pattern.
4) Are there any signs of warmer than normal ocean temperatures in the Pacific? Overall, the Pacific Ocean is slightly warmer than normal. So, no real signals of an El Nino Pattern. If El Nino influenced winters, the Midwest is warmer and less snowy than normal.
5) Is the whole winter going to be this way? No, but one of the signs of a warmer climate is jet stream patterns that linger or stick around for several weeks or longer than normal. Which means it takes more time to flip the pattern to colder and snowy.
A huge thanks for Jeff Porter from WWMT News Channel 3 for the info.