Michigan's winter forecast

With sometimes light-jacket weather and skimpy snowfalls in recent years, many are wondering if traditional Michigan winters are all but a memory.
Marie Havenga
Jan 2, 2013


The lack of wicked weather apparently is clouding the crystal balls of even professional forecasters.

“It's a question many people have asked,” said T.J. Turnage, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. “The official outlook for the rest of the winter is not really very decisive. It's basically saying we have equal chances of being above or below normal temperature and precipitation.

"The forecasts are very often pretty vague because it's hard to tell that far out," he added.

With no strong indicators, forecasts are based more on the trend over the past few years, according to Turnage — “very much on the warm side and very little snow.”

The forecasters simply don't know.

“The short answer is, it's too uncertain to tell whether we will get back to our cold and snowy setup we're used to from the past,” Turnage said. “I don't have the answer for why there's no snow. ... It's the subject of a lot of research right now.”

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I wish I could be as vague, and completely wrong on a regular basis in my professional position; and still get paid! Weather prognosticators are the absolute poster children of cluelessness. I can still take a foot long piece of rope, hang it outside, and come up with a better forecast everyday; this I can do for no charge what so ever.


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