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NOAA releases new climate averages

In the Upper Peninsula, we’ve seen a slightly warmer and wetter trend when comparing the previous 30 years.
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 11:04 AM EDT
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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released their new 30-year climate averages for 1991-2020.

Every ten years these averages are updated. These averages are what we consider to be our new normal or what we would typically expect for temperatures and precipitation.

In the Upper Peninsula, we’ve seen a slightly warmer and wetter trend when comparing the previous 30 years from 1981-2010 and the new time span from 1991-2020.

The U.P. is divided into two divisions. Division 1 is the western half while division 2 is the eastern half. The new annual average temperature has increased by 0.2° for the entire U.P. Division 1 now has an annual average temperature of 40.7°F while division 2 is at 41.8°F.

Precipitation has also gone up by 1.05″ for the western U.P. while the eastern half increased by 1.67″. This makes the new annual normal precipitation 32.33″ for the west and 33.77″ for the eastern counties.

From a seasonal perspective, we’ve seen a rise in precipitation and temperature in most seasons. The one exception being spring. It’s trended cooler with a 0.4° drop in temperature across the entire U.P.

Our new climate normals are in line with the national trend. Most of the country has seen an increase in average temperature from 1991-2020. Precipitation has increased as well for the eastern half of the country while the southwest has seen a noticeable decrease. These numbers help the agriculture and tourism industries plan things out for the future. They also give meteorologists a guideline for what we can now typically expect in comparison to the ever-changing weather patterns.

Check out NOAA’s new Climate Averages page for more information.

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