Predictions for another mild winter

ALPENA – A new year does not mean new weather patterns, especially for those who are waiting for snow. Meteorologist Nick Schwartz of the National Weather Service in Gaylord, said Alpena residents can anticipate another winter with a lack of snowfall. He said the region currently has a snow deficit, which will be hard to make up and will result in below average snowfall.

“The big problem for this year is the lack of snowfall, which is attributed to the lack of lake affect snow and arctic air,” Schwartz said. “Overall, there will be a lack of snow this winter across the region.”

According to Schwartz, January, February and March will reach near or slightly above average temperatures with weather comparable to last year’s mild winter, with slightly colder temperatures.

“What you see is what we get, especially with the significant lack of arctic air,” he said. “This season, Alpena had a total of 13.9 inches of snowfall. The normal amount for this time of year is 28 inches. We’re seeing benign winter patterns.”

Schwartz said 2012 was an exceptionally mild year and the warmest year on record for Alpena due to a variety of factors, including a mild winter.

“Last year, January, February and March were mild with light snow. Alpena also had a very warm summer. June, July and August had high temperatures,” he said. “Overall, it was an exceptionally mild year across northern Michigan with typical amounts of precipitation.”

Schwartz said current weather shows benign patterns with an anticipated snow accumulation of an inch or less for today, but said this winter’s weather will be colder with below average snow.

“Alpena is transitioning into a relatively quiet weather pattern with little or no snow accumulation, just a series of weak moisture deprived systems,” he said. “There will be a warming trend as we head into next week with high temperatures near or slightly above the freezing mark until the middle of January.”

Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5687.