January 4, 2013
With the incoming New Year, Michigan has been spared the extreme winter weather that has affected states to our south over the past few weeks. Although snowfall has ranged from one inch to nearly a foot in some areas of the state, it has been a rather mild winter so far. But will this pattern continue?
With the shortest day of the year behind us, hours of daylight will continue to increase as each week passes. It will first be noticeable in the evening hours and sunset will occur at six o'clock by the second week of February. But this doesn't mean that temperatures will remain mild.
According to Meteorologist, Alex Sosnowski of AccuWeather, there are bitter temperatures heading our way for the end of January, as the jet stream is expected to dip into the deep south. Prior to that, however, temperatures will remain mild.
At this time, 65% of the country is covered with snow. That is significant since in 2012 at this time, there was only snow cover over 20% of the country. This is good news for areas affected by droughts in 2012. Although much of the country remains in a drought situation, any precipitation is very welcome.
Mid-Michigan can expect temperatures in the upper 30s to as high as 40 degrees this upcoming week. Sunny conditions should prevail from Sunday through Tuesday. By Tuesday night, rain is expected to move in and will change to a winter mix by Wednesday and continue into Friday. This will probably be our January thaw before colder conditions move in.
A NOAA graphic shows weather expectations for the remaining winter months. Michigan will probably have a normal winter with no great extremes expected. Although future predictions are never greatly reliable, they can give us a fairly good idea of what is expected.
Have a good week.