ESCANABA - As cold, northwesterly winds force many residents to dig out their winter coats, experts say this winter may be slightly warmer than average.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to remain in the 30s and 40s through next Tuesday, with nighttime lows dropping into the upper 20s.
"Temperatures aren't going to warm up anytime soon," said Kari Fleegel, meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Marquette Office.
While short-term predictions indicate that temperatures will remain stable with chances of snow, rain, and mixed precipitation throughout the week, weather predictions for the rest of the fall and winter are harder to forecast.
"There's nothing to really hang our hats on this year as far as El Nino/ La Nina. It's going to be more of a week-to-week forecast," said Fleegel.
The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that from November to January temperatures may be slightly above normal. Precipitation is expected to stay around normal levels.
As October comes to an end and Halloween nears, many residents may be concerned about planning their costumes around the possibility of snow. However, Fleegel believes the chances of a snowy holiday are unlikely.
"We're trying to look at those big days as far as Halloween and what trick-or-treaters are looking at, and all I can say is probably not a snow storm," said Fleegel.
In the past five years, the earliest measurable snowfall recorded by the Escanaba Water Plant was on Nov. 9, 2011. The most snowfall measured in November was recorded in November of 2008, when 9.55 inches of snow fell during the month, mostly during a four-day stretch between the 17th and 20th. Five inches of snow fell on the Nov. 20 alone.
Water plant snow records run from the first snow, usually in November, through the holidays and typically end near the end of March. Last year the season ran into April and 68.05 inches of snow was recorded in the city.
While accumulating snow may be a ways off, when snow storms do hit the region, drivers should be aware of the parking restrictions that take effect with winter weather.
In Escanaba, parking restrictions take effect Dec. 1 and continue through March. During those months, with the exception of Ludington Street, parking will be allowed only on the west side of all streets and on the north side of all avenues within the city limits between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Vehicles are only allowed to park for a half an hour on any city street during the overnight restricted hours of 2 through 7 a.m.
In Gladstone, parking restrictions also take place on Dec. 1 and continue until April 1. During this period no parking is permitted on the south side of any avenue or the west side of any street, and no overnight parking is permitted on either side of roadways between 3:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.