Spring is here but seasonal forecast still unknown

ESCANABA — March “came in like a lion” in Delta County this year, with cold temperatures and snowfall seen in the area early in the month. The Climate Prediction Center’s predictions for the rest of the month — and the rest of the spring — are not entirely clear.

Dave Petrovich, a forecaster for the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Marquette office, said there are no strong indications of what temperatures in the Upper Peninsula will look like for the rest of March.

“What it’s showing for temperatures is equal chances of above normal, below normal, or normal,” he said.

There are also equal chances that precipitation levels will be above normal, below normal, or normal in March.

Petrovich also shared some predictions for spring. There is a better-than-average chance that temperatures in the U.P. will be above normal during April, May, and June, but there are equal chances of precipitation levels being greater than normal, less than normal, or normal during this period of time.

The average temperatures and precipitation levels used in these comparisons are based on data from 1981-2010. Over this span of time, the average temperature across April, May, and June in the Marquette area was 49.7 degrees.

“Last year’s was basically just a little bit below normal,” Petrovich said. In 2016, the average temperature for these months in the Marquette area was 48.6 degrees.

Petrovich said neither El Nino or La Nina played a role in this spring’s predictions.

“There’s no real feature to really send the temperatures in one direction or another,” he said.

For more information, visit the NWS website at www.weather.gov.