Another Record Breaking Season For Northern Michigan
If Summer of 2021 felt like a hot one, it was. Temperatures landed in the top five hottest summers on record for our four climate reporting stations in the region. Meteorological summer is from June 1st to August 31st.
- Sault Ste. Marie had its warmest summer on record.
- Houghton Lake had its 5th warmest summer on record.
- Gaylord had its warmest summer on record.
- Traverse City had its 4th warmest summer on record.
Scientists at Climate Central independent, non-profit organization that focuses on research in climate change using data and facts. Their goal is to communicate facts about the changing climate to the public and how it impacts our lives.
Climate Central has data that shows an increase in the frequency of records dating back to the late 1890s. If 50% of the records were heat-related and 50% of the records were cold-related, we were right in the middle.
When the purple line shifts up and the orange line shifts down, cold extremes were more common. When the orange line shifts up and the purple line shifts down, warm extremes were more common. In other words, the closer the bar is to 100%, the more “one-sided” and extreme the temperatures were.
Notice on the graph below the orange bars has a trendline upward. Meaning the trend of heat records is going up. Over 60% of records broken per decade are heat-related records since the 1900s. 40% or less were cold-related.
The record heat in 2021 also impacted the contiguous United States as well. The orange dots are hottest summers on record and the red dots are top 10 hottest summers on record.
It wasn’t just temperatures that were a record high in 2021 during the summer months, so was precipitation. After a spring that was dry, the summer months ranked some of the wettest on record.
- Sault Ste. Marie was 2.23 inches of liquid above average.
- Traverse City ranked its wettest summer on record.
- Gaylord ranked its wettest summer on record.
- Houghton Lake ranked its 7th wettest summer on record.