For the 1st time in 2002 Muskegon has had back to back months with below normal temperatures. November’s average of 38.2 degrees was .5 degrees below the normal. This after October’s temperatures were nearly 3 degrees off the norm.
The peak temperatures in Muskegon was 63° on the 9th. The monthly low was posted twice on the 16th and 26th when a reading of 20° was recorded.
Precipitation was also below normal. 1.16 inches of rain fell over 2 inches below the normal level. Biggest rain fall occurred on the 21st when .4 inches splashed down.
Unlike November of 2001 Muskegon did receive snow. However, the total of 5.3 inches was 3.5 below the average. 3.4 inches of that snow came on the final day of the month the 30th.
Muskegon’s 1st snow was 1.6 inches received on the 24th (“ground covering snow has fallen”.) Last year Muskegon was snowless until the 8th of December when 1.5″ fell. Then on the 24th December in 2001 3.5″ fell. Snow came earlier in 2000. On November 18th 2.2″ fell.
The below normal numbers are completed by an average wind speed of 10.5, .1 below the typical figure. Months end was the time for high and low wind days. The low average wind speed was on the 26th at 3.8, while the windiest day was the 29th at 19.7. On the 27th I described a calm morning this way: “A low velocity smooth wind.”
Muskegon along Lake Michigan’s east shore lived up to it’s cloudy reputation. There were only 4 clear days, with 12 partly cloudy days and 14 days which were considered cloudy.
Year to date Muskegon temperatures are + 1.7 degrees. This is still ahead of the previous 2 years.
In December snowfall should continue ascending. Normal snowfall for Muskegon in December is 25″, 2nd only to January which has a 31 inch average.
However, as this winter is expected to be moderately influenced by a moderate El Nino condition, the forecast calls for less than normal snow with warmer than normal temperatures. Past winters
with the same El Nino affect have received an average of 7″ less snow.
As meteorologists consider winter to be December through February the expected snowfall for Muskegon is 67″, with December revising down to 25″.
Remember though that Muskegon is on the leeward shore of Lake Michigan meaning lake affect snow often falls. Such conditions dumped 36″ of snow on Marquette Michigan located on Lake Superior on 1
December, 1985. In 1981 on the 18th of December the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan received 22 inches in one day. One such day can skew averages and forecasts! Note: In a typical winter Muskegon
has 3 days, or one per month, where over 6″ of snow falls.
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