DETROIT (WJBK) - No one was thinking summer weather a couple weeks ago, but so the saying goes, "If you don't like the weather in Michigan, wait 15 minutes". Less than two weeks after our last snow, we hit the mid 80s on Tuesday.
April has wrapped up and thank God for that! Officially the month was the 13th coldest April of all time, with temperatures nearly 7 degrees below where they should have been. We fell below freezing 15 times and picked up 2.4" of snow. To say April wasn't kind would be an understatement.
But that all changes now! May, while not officially a "summer month", will usher in Summer like weather. The jet stream has finally broken free from the April pattern and traveled north - a much more desirable location. The Climate Prediction Center is predicting almost the whole country will be warmer than normal for May. For us, average May high temperatures are near 70 degrees - so above that puts us well into the middle 70s before the month ends.
But what about June, July and August? When we look at long range forecasting we tend to look at large scale weather drivers. That means El Nino and La Nina. This particular summer is not expected to be either of those - instead falling right in the middle, which we call a "Neutral" year.
The last time this happened was back in 2013, so it is wise to look at that year as a comparable year.
2013 was fairly normal when it came to temperatures. June had highs near 79, July had highs near 83 and August had highs near 81. It was, however, a wet summer, with rainfall being well over what we consider the normal - which is 10 inches.
I think we are looking at a similar pattern with one exception.
My outlook for the Summer of 2018 is a warm one for one specific reason - I think it will feel long. With May shaping up to be hot (comparatively) we are looking at 4 full months of Summer weather.
While July and August will return to normal highs in the low 80s, May and June will start things off higher than we are used to. And nobody's complaining.
To break it down by month:
May: Much warmer than normal, wet
June: Warmer than normal, wet
July: Near normal temps, near normal rain
August: Near normal temps, near normal rain
In essence, I think this summer falls in between the summers of 2017 and 2016. Last year was a little cooler than we typically see, while 2016 was the hottest summer ever.
Don't expect us to hit that again, but I think we will see plenty of hot days!