November was fifth-coldest on record

News Photo by Crystal Nelson The Alpena harbor is seen on Thursday, a crisp autumn day. Thursday’s snow is expected to disappate today and temperatures for the weekend are expected to be in the mid- to low-30s.

ALPENA — With the fifth-coldest November on record in the books, Alpena residents can expect the month of December to be a little warmer than usual.

Persistent below-normal temperatures throughout November resulted in one of the coldest Novembers on record, according to the National Weather Service. The average temperature for the month was 30.4 degrees, 5.3 degrees below the normal average temperature of 35.7.

A new record low of 8 degrees was set on Nov. 18, which breaks the record of 9 degrees set on the same day in 1989. The lowest temperature for the month was 5 degrees, but it did not break the record for that day.

Meteorologist Mike Kurz attributed much of the lower-than-average temperatures to troughs, which he describes as an area of low pressure in the atmosphere that is accompanied by colder temperatures.

“We had a lot of troughs move through the region here that just allowed the colder air to continually spill into the area from Canada,” he said. “And so it just was kind of a round after round of this cold air spilling south from Canada that led to that pattern overall for the month.”

The Alpena area also saw more rain and snowfall than normal in November. According National Weather Service statistics, rain was 0.08 inches higher than normal, bringing the total amount of rain for the month to 2.18 inches. The area also received a total of 9.9 inches of snowfall during in November, 2.2 inches above the normal 7.7 inches of snowfall.

The month of December is expected to be slightly warmer and more mild, according to Kurz. He said the National Weather Service’s

Climate Prediction Center is predicting warmer than normal temperatures over the next couple of weeks.

“We’ll be drying out and temperatures will be getting back to seasonal readings – highs in the generally low- to mid-30s – which is typical for the early part of December,” he said.

Kurz says it’s too early to say whether the Alpena area will have a white Christmas, as they are waiting to see how things shape up for the latter half of the month. He said that, as of right now, it’s not looking very active in terms of winter storms.

In the meantime, Thursday’s flurries are expected to dissipate today and mild weather is expected to continue over the weekend. The Weather Channel is predicting Saturday will be partly cloudy with a high of 31 degrees and a low of 20 degrees. Sunday is expected to be sunny with a high of 35 degrees and a low of 24 degrees.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at or 989-358-5687.