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      The Early Heat Wave of May 2000

      A massive, warm upper-level ridge reached its peak over the Great Lakes during the latter part of the first week of May 2000.

      It has warmed nicely over the last few days and slowly itâ??s beginning to green up across the U.P. Thirteen years ago on the other hand, it was downright summery. On May 7, 2000, the temperature reached a record high of 81 degrees at the National Weather Service near Negaunee. The exceptional warmth was the result of a warm upper-level ridge that gradually built over the central U.S. (Image above) It was the fourth time in five days that the high hit 80 or above. During the six-day period from May 3-8, the mean temperature was over 20 degrees above the long-term standard.

      This early heat was the closing chapter in the warm spring of 2000. Early March saw record-shattering temperatures in the 60s and 70s and while April cooled back with a mean monthly temperature 1.5 degrees below average, May book ended the cool fourth month averaging nearly four degrees above normal.

      Warm Mays are often dry ones. May 2000 saw only 40 percent of average rainfall. So far, May 2013 is cold because it started wet. On the other hand, the eastern U.P. totally missed last weekâ??s wet, cold frontal system. Sault Ste. Marie has had no rain so far this month and is averaging over 8 degrees above average. Our latest warm spell will last through tomorrow and then substantial changes are on the way. One thing is certain. While there may be a couple of warm days here and there, no heat waves ala 2000 in our offing. Itâ??s looking downright blustery over the weekend and some spots will at least see snow flakes fly for a time.