We started the New Year having already experienced considerable wintery conditions. December was winter like before the calendar turned officially to winter.
The first month of 2001 was not similar. In many ways it was spring before the calendar said so.
The month was exceptionally warm. There were only 7 days of below normal warmth. The average temperature was 28.2° which is 4.8° above the norm.
Warmest day of the month was Tuesday the 30th with a high of 42°. This warmth was brought by a huge weather system that stretched from the Rockies to the Eastern seaboard. That day Muskegon was on the warm east side. So warm, that Marquette in the UP had a temperature of 43°.
The low temperature for the month was 2° on Tuesday the 2nd. In fact the first 3 days of the month were below normal as the December cold hung on.
Precipitation wise January was a dry month. .76″ of rain fell, well below the norm of 2.34″. Muskegon received only 4.9″ of snow. This is an extreme drop from the typical snow fall of 38.4″.
The upcoming months have snow norms of 19.3″ and 12.5″. January’s lack of snow could mean the heavy snow season is over.
The average wind speed of 10.1 knots was below the norm of 10.6. Windiest day was the 10th with an average of 16.8 knots.
The majority of winds were from the south. Of the 16 days of South Winds, only 2 saw below norm tempts. There were only 7 days with north or east winds. This indicates that not many weather systems approached from the colder north.
All of these factors combined to reduce the amount of snow on the ground from a high of 11″ on the 3rd and 4th to a mere inch by months end.
For boaters who want a higher water level the combination of warmth and dryness is not positive. For folks who choose Michigan for its winters, January was also a disappointment. It will be interesting to see if February brings back winter.
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