It is May Day. The fifth month begins the transition into the warm season over Upper Michigan. Early in the month, winter can still gives a dying gasp on occasion. Sixteen years ago on May 1, 1996, a big winter storm was winding down, with over a foot of fresh snow in spots. The "freak" snowstorm of 1990 of May 9-10 dumped heavy, wet snow across much of the Peninsula. An unusually late snow gave folks in the western U.P. a surprise on May 27-28, 1965 (Image 1 above). And it reached 17 degrees as late as May 9th in 1983.
However, the warmth of summer often takes over, especially toward the end of the month. Average high temperatures begin in the 50s to near 60 early in May and sit around 70 degrees by Memorial Day. Sometimes, extreme heat will settle in for a day or two. It hit 93 degrees at the National Weather Service (NWS) near Negaunee on May 22, 1964. On May 28, 1969 the temperature topped 100 in the city of Marquette.
The beginning of May 2014 will begin on unsettled and on the cool side of average. The really cold air has retreated well to the north (Image 2). However, the pattern evolving does not hold much hope for a glimmer of summer, either.