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      A Benign but Wet Month

      Lake Superior is running above average. The record level, reached in the mid-1980s is the light blue line toward the top.

      After a stretch of persistent, sometime record cold that began in December, the Upper Peninsula is in the midst of a warmer, benign temperature pattern that began in late May. The fifth month ended as the first above average month since October 2013 at the National Weather Service (NWS) near Negaunee. It was not much above at four-tenths of a degree, but it was still above.

      During June, we have experienced a number of up and down temperature spells. However, none have been long-lasting or extreme. Through June 24, the mean temperature is at 59.6 degrees, a mere one-tenth degree below the 1981-2010 average. Three days have hit 80 or above with the highest at 84 on June 16. The coolest days of the month occurred just before the warmest with a mean temperature of 51 degrees on both June 13-14. The low of 37 on June 13 was the coolest morning of the month. A number of locations got close to or below freezing that morning.

      It has been a wet month. Rains have come at regular intervals with the wettest period from the June 20-24. During that time, over three inches of rain was measured. The total for the month stands at 5.51 inches. The long-term average for the entire month is 3.23 inches.

      The pattern looks conducive for more showers as a large trough now entering the West Coast moves eastward into the central U.S. during the weekend. The showers will likely be spotty as is the case during the summer. So we will add to the soggy monthly total, but how much is up in the air. For reference, the wettest June at the NWS site occurred in 1981 with 6.61 inches. The all-time wettest June was in 1939 when 8.86 inches fell in the city of Marquette. We may not reach the record marks, but the big June rains along with the cold winter has pushed the Lake Superior up to above average levels; in fact, not far from the record set back in the mid-1980s (Image above).