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      A Scorching Hot Memorial Day: 2006

      A "heat ridge" developed just to the east of Upper Michigan May 29, 2006 putting us in the sweet spot for record May warmth.

      This past Memorial Day weekend was warm, but in 2006, it was HOT.

      May 2006 started warm. Through the first 10 days the average, or mean, temperature was over four degrees above normal. Then a record-breaking May storm hit on the 11th (there was snow in the western U.P. around Ironwood) and the mean temperature stayed well below average from then through the third week of the month. A big â??flipâ?? to warmer occurred on May 24 and reached a climax on May 29â??Memorial Day when a record high of 93 degrees was recorded at the National Weather Service (NWS) near Negaunee.

      The warmth was generated by huge upper level ridge that crested just east of us on the holiday (Image 1 above). That put us in the sweet spot for heat. The pattern was progressive, however, and things cooled down the last two days of the month.

      This time around, the last two days will be warm. Today was warmer than the previous two days, especially in the northern U.P. Thatâ??s because the winds were much lighter and were not predominately northeasterly. The next two days, the winds will have a south component. Theyâ??ll pick up on Saturday, raising the wildfire danger and also the temperatures. Saturday looks similar to the weather of last weekend. Sunday still looks like the beginnings of a transition to a wetter, then cooler pattern.