Mild winter continued in January with higher temps, little snow
ALPENA — The mild weather so far this winter continued through January and, despite a brief cold spell over the last several days, forecasters expect mild temperatures to return next week.
In its climatological data report for January, the National Weather Service says January was well above average in terms of temperature and Alpena received more than eight inches less snow than the long-term average for the month.
The new year began with a string of warmer-than-well-above-average temperatures, which climaxed on Jan. 16 and 17, when the mercury peaked at 42 degrees.
For the month, the overall average temperature was 27.6 degrees, more than 7 degrees warmer than the 20-degree historic average.
The coldest day was recorded on the last day of January, when a low temperature of minus-9 degrees was recorded.
The lack of snow in Northeast Michigan also continued. Although there is snow currently on the ground, for the majority of January, the ground was bare, and whatever accumulation Alpena received quickly melted.
For the month, Alpena received 10.8 inches of snow, well below the 19.3-inch long-term average. That follows a trend in November and December, when snowfall was well below average and the months were warmer than normal.
As has been the case so far this winter, Alpena was spared the heavy snow predicted from a forecasted storm, but still received four inches of accumulation on Jan. 20. Another passing Alberta clipper dropped an additional 2.2 inches of snow on Jan. 25, which remains with us today.
People in Northeast Michigan have experienced the coldest temperatures of the season over the last several days and temperatures are expected to continue to fall through Friday, when forecasters do not expect the mercury to reach 10 degrees and wind chills could push temperatures down into negative territory.
After that, a warmup is expected.
According to the Weather Service forecast for next week, temperatures should climb into the mid-20s on Saturday and the mid-30s on Sunday. On Tuesday, forecasters expect temperatures could breach 40 degrees and likely erase the little snow the area has.
Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-30s through Feb. 15, the Weather Service forecasts a few days with rain and snow showers.