Golfers hit the fairways in Marquette on March 22, 1938. Thatâ??s because there was only a few trace piles of snow left after a quiet, snow-less last third of winter and a warm spring. The snow piles from the historic storm that hit in late January were only a memory as astronomical spring commenced. The next year however, a big mid-March storm followed by a cold wave kept the golfers inside until well into April.
True spring arrives slowly in Upper Michigan. There are exceptions like the 1938 example above. Last year was a historic exception. March 2012 featured a five-day stretch with temperatures nearly 40 degrees above average. Mud season was mild, too. After the big snows of late February and early March melted off, there was only light precipitation as warm, dry upper-ridging dominated. The month ended 15.5 degrees above average. April cooled back, but still ended one degree above average.It will be a while before thereâ??s golfing anywhere in the U.P. this year. However, the big snows appear to be over. The next big storm will be suppressed well south by a gigantic area of high pressure anchored in northern Canada. The snow cover we have will be slow to leave as no genuinely warm days or nights are expected through at least the end of the month. There are beginning to be some hints that the pattern will begin shifting as the first week of April wears on. A trough is forecast to develop over the western U.S. (Image 2 above). If this occurs, there is a chance that low pressure will pass to our west, which would mean southerly winds drawing up much warmer air into Upper Michigan.