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February cooler than normal, but snow totals still below average

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Briley Carstens of Ossineke sleds down a hill at the Caledonia Public Downhill Sledding Park on Saturday in Spruce.

ALPENA — The month of February was cooler than normal, but meteorologists with the National Weather Service-Gaylord say snowfall for the month was as close to average as it could get.

Meteorologist Dan Cornish, with the National Weather Service-Gaylord, said the observed snowfall for February was 17.4 inches, just 0.1 inches lower than the annual snowfall average of 17.5.

“The bigger story, across the entire area, is the snowfall totals through the winter so far.” Cornish said. “Even though Alpena was right on par for snowfall in February, Alpena is still about 15 inches below normal for what you would normally see in the winter.”

Cornish said the low snowfall totals overall can be attributed to not having as many storms pass through the Great Lakes region. He said areas downstate–like Detroit, Flint, or Grand Rapids — could have above average snowfall, but Northern Michigan hasn’t had a favorable track of those storm systems.

“Not only have we been lacking from the snow we would normally get from them, but we haven’t really received much lake effect snow this year either,” he said.

In addition to the normal amount of snowfall, February was cooler than usual. The average maximum temperature was 28.3 degrees, which was one degree lower than normal and the average minimum temperature was 7.8, which was 3.6 degrees lower than normal.

Cornish said there was a stretch of cold weather at the beginning of February and into the middle of the month, although the end of the month was warmer. A low of negative 8 degrees was recorded on Feb. 10 and a high of 48 degrees was recorded on Feb. 27.

Cornish said it will be warmer over the next couple of days but that the weather will cool off for the weekend. He said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has said there are favorable chances for warmer temperatures for the month of March.

Cornish said next week is expected to be a little warmer than it is this week.

“There’s definitely some signs of spring coming for sure,” he said.

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