George Isobar looks at January weather 02.10.10

Written by David Green.


What January didn’t give, February will deliver. At least that’s the forecast.

“January was light on snow,” said Morenci climate observer George Isobar, “but only about three inches below average. What was really surprising about last month was the overall lack of precipitation.”

In local records going back 35 years, January was the driest on record.

“There were two years in the past decade that produced only .75 inches,” Isobar said, “but last month was even a little drier with just .73.”

Measurable precipitation fell on only seven days, he said, with the most falling Jan. 8 with .31 inches of melted precipitation. That fell in the form of 3.9 inches of snow—most of the total 5.8 inches measured.

The snow depth stood at just under five inches for a day, Isobar said, then settled a little for a depth of four inches for the next six days.

“As dry as it was, and with as little snow as there was, it’s surprising the ground was white for 17 days out of 31,” Isobar said.

There was also some freezing rain on two occasions, Isobar said, but nothing much.

“Frozen drizzle is more like it,” he added.


Six single-digit mornings and a low of -3 were recorded, but the average for the month was still a little above normal.

The National Weather Service office in Toledo put the monthly average at 0.4° above normal.

“There were plenty of chilly mornings,” Isobar said, “and just about half of the daily averages for the month were below normal. In fact, six were double-digit below. But from Jan. 13 to 25, every day was above average.”

The high of 50° was recorded Jan. 25, but the break in the weather was brief.

“I don’t know if I’d call it a January thaw,” Isobar said. “Just one day at 50 and one at 42. Then it plunged back down.”

The low of -3° was recorded on the morning of Jan. 10.

FEBRUARY—The average snowfall for February in the past three decades comes in at 7.8 inches.

“We’ve had 1.7 inches so far,” Isobar said, “and if the predictions are close to accurate, we could have more than 7.8 inches by the time you’re reading these words.”

Up to 11 inches of snow was predicted for the area Tuesday and into Wednesday.

February generally produces less snow than December and January, Isobar said, but there have certainly been exceptions.

“We’ve topped 16 inches a couple of times, along with a 15 and a 14,” he said, “but it’s never come close to the other big months.”

And for temperatures?

Every day of the month has a record of below-zero, he said, except for one. The record for Feb. 29 is only 0°, but of course there is no Feb. 29 this year.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016