June weather cooler, drier than normal

ALPENA – June’s weather was slightly cooler than normal, and rainfall totals fell short of the month’s average.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lutz said the Alpena area had an observed high temperature of 60.3 degrees for June, while the normal for the month is 62.1 degrees. Rainfall totalled 2.16 inches, with 2.62 inches being June’s norm.

The month’s weather was defined by brief warm spells where temperatures would reach typical ranges, then drop after a cold front moved through, Lutz said. Thermometers rarely ventured above 80 degrees, and often plummeted after dark.

“In fact, looking at it there were only two days when we got above 80 in the whole month in Alpena,” he said. “It hit 82 on the 24th, and 82 on the 29th as well.”

Such was the case across much of northern Michigan, Lutz said. Alpena registered the largest departure from the norm, with Gaylord’s observed high temperature 1/2 degree below normal. Even Alpena’s departure was relatively minor, and the region’s June weather was more or less average.

Lutz credited a moderate El Nino for pushing northward a trough of cold air that’s stayed parked over the Great Lakes for the last two years. He said this made for a more typical summer where the past two have been abnormally cold.

“In a way, it really got us back to a normal pattern,” he said. “The jet stream got pushed toward the Canadian border, which is how it used to be.”

While precipitation was below average for Alpena, it was enough to end a dry spell that had started in May, Lutz said. Across the region most places received average rainfall, or just below it. There were a few small outbreaks of severe weather, mostly south of M-72.

July’s temperatures will likely be below normal as well, Lutz said. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting more cool-downs through the month. Much of the Midwest is expected to see cooler temps in July.

“It’s been around normal, we had a couple of fairly warm days here the past couple of days,” he said. “Now we’re going to go into a pretty substantially cooler period again, at least for (Tuesday), then we’ll get back into the upper 70s.”

Precipitation in July is expected to be around normal, Lutz said. Cooler temps should lessen the chance for severe weather, but don’t rule it out entirely. A cold front moving through at the right time of a hot day could make for nasty weather.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.