Brief warmth broke records

We now return to your regularly scheduled fall

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Employees of Thunder Bay Shores Marine remove the Michigan Department of Natural Resources vessel Tanner from the water for the season. The area saw unseasonably warm temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday, but much cooler ones are on the way. The National Weather Service in Gaylord says there is a chance of rain mixed with snow overnight Sunday to Monday.

ALPENA — Don’t be fooled by the summer-like weather the last two days, because it is unlikely to return until spring.

It is common to have a week or so of warmer-than-average temperatures in Northeast Michigan during the month of October before cooler weather moves in and the chance of snow increases, but it appears the warm spell will be abbreviated this year.

According to the National Weather Service in Gaylord, a record-high temperature was set Tuesday when the readings at the Alpena County Regional Airport showed 86 degrees. Meteorologist Jeff Lutz said that eclipsed the previous record of 83 degrees set in 2011.

Lutz said he is sure people enjoyed the hot weather Monday and Tuesday, but they shouldn’t get excited about the heat remaining — or returning.

“We are definitely going to drop down into more seasonable weather and, beginning next week, the forecast is calling for temperatures to be below-average, so it isn’t going to be anything close to what the area saw the last couple of days,” Lutz said.

Besides the unseasonably warm temperatures Tuesday, a series of thunderstorms also swept through the area. Although there was only a slight period of sprinkles and an occasional boom of thunder and flashes of lightning in the city, areas further north saw strong winds that caused some trees to fall and some to lose power in the Long Lake area

Lutz said the storms were not severe, but packed a punch nevertheless.

“It is not uncommon to see storms pop up as a front moved through and the temperature changed,” he said. “They were fast-moving, but did feature hard rain and strong winds for a spell.”

Lutz said people in Alpena can expect overnight temperatures to dip into the low 30s several days later this week and for the balance of the month because cold air from the north is about to move in. He said what happened in the Gulf of Mexico over the last week actually prevented the cold weather from arriving sooner.

“Hurricane Michael floating in the gulf has held the cold air from Canada at bay, but, as it moves out, that air is going to rush into northern Michigan and cause a significant drop in temperatures and cold winds,” he said.

Once the expected drop in temperatures happens, people may begin to see small chances of snow flurries in the forecast from time to time. Lutz said there is a chance of rain mixed with snow from Sunday night to Monday, but nothing in the long-range weather prediction model shows anything but a few flakes falling.

“We aren’t going to see any accumulation in the Alpena area, yet,” he said. “There could be a few lake-effect flurries on the west side of the state and near Gaylord, but, for now, Alpena isn’t going to get anything significant.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or 989-358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter @ss_alpenanews.