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      11-14-2001: Heating Up for Opening Day

      A mild westerly flow set up on November 14, 2001. It led to the warmest opening day in the last 50 years.

      On November 14, 2001 the temperature reached a balmy 59 degrees at the National Weather Service (NWS) near Negaunee. This was just a â??warm upâ?? for the warmest Opening Day since records began at the NWS. The high reached 65 degrees on November 15, 2001. When combined with the balmy low of 41 there was a 23-degree above-average departure for the date. These record highs were two of seven record highs during the month and contributed to the warmest November in the 50-plus years that records have been kept at the old Marquette County airport site. It cooled back to 42 degrees on the 16th, and then soared back up to 64 and 60 on the next two days.

      Despite the super warmth, it turned into a snowy month. A storm on November 26-37 brought a wet, heavy 28.4 inches to the NWS site roughly ten miles west of Marquette. This was an â??elevation snowâ?? more typical of early in the month. Near the shoreline in the city, almost no snow fell from this storm.

      The monthly average for November 2001 was 39.9 degrees, a remarkable 9.8 degrees above the long-term standard. The warmest November in the years the NWS (formerly the U.S. Weather Bureau) kept an office in Marquette was in 1932 when the monthly mean temperature was 42.2 degrees.

      Currently, the mean for the month stands at just over 33 degreesâ??about a degree below average. A mild Pacific air flow is setting up, roughly similar to what happened 11 years ago. This pattern will likely hold until at least around Thanksgiving. That means that we may be heading for another above average eleventh month. However, it will in no way challenge the high standard set in November 2001.