NWS forecast suggests warm, possibly stormy months ahead

IRON MOUNTAIN — Although it will stay cool early this week, a long-range outlook from the National Weather Service calls for a potentially warm and stormy summer season.

A southward dip in the jet stream has led to chilly weather the past few days, but the forecast calls for a high in the mid-60s by Wednesday.

Looking much further ahead, the Climate Prediction Center puts the chances for above-normal temperatures through July at 47% at Iron Mountain-Kingsford, with chances for below-normal at just 21%.

The temperature outlook is tied to La Nina, the periodic cooling of water in the central Pacific Ocean. La Nina is now gradually weakening, which has typically led to warm summers in the U.S.

“If we look at summers following first-year La Nina winters, we can see a very hot signal across most of the western and northern U.S.” said Todd Crawford, a weather.com meteorologist.

AccuWeather forecasters, meanwhile, say the first part of summer could feature frequent thunderstorms across the Midwest. This should limit the potential for long-duration heat waves, meteorologist Brian Lada said.

AccuWeather predicts the most active zone for severe weather will be around Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri, due to drought in the western U.S.

Drought conditions tend to limit thunderstorm formation because of how dry it is near the ground, AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Pastelok said. The risk for severe storms and tornadoes, then, will extend a bit farther to the east than normal.

Water equivalent precipitation in April at Iron Mountain-Kingsford totaled 3.13 inches, which was about a half-inch above average. It included 1.5 inches of snow April 26.

The snowstorm was part of a roller coaster month that saw temperatures average 43.4 degrees, about 2 degrees above average. Temperatures ranged from a low of 16 degrees April 1 and 2 to a high of 77 degrees less than a week later on April 7.

Average temperatures were more than 20 degrees above normal for a stretch from April 7 through April 9, but about 15 degrees below normal from April 20 through April 22, according to observations at the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The recent stretch of colder weather is due to a storm stalling over eastern Canada, holding warmer air in check, AccuWeather meteorologist Nicole LoBiondo said.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows no areas of concern in northern Wisconsin and the central Upper Peninsula.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today