Sault Ste. Marie has broken several heat records over the last few days but our extended Summer is coming to an end starting this weekend. In fact, it will mark the official start to Autumn weather.
Since last week, Sault Ste. Marie and all of the Great Lakes have enjoyed the heat dome caused by a fairly stationary High Pressure ridge . That ridge allowed very warm and muggy air to rise from the south that has given us Summer-Like record breaking temperatures instead of the traditional cool off that October can bring.
On Monday, temperatures rose to 27c breaking the record set in 1971 of 26.7. On Tuesday, we hit 28c breaking the record for that date set in 2005 of 24.1c Keep in mind, the average temperature is about 17c for this time of year.
Mild, even hot conditions are fairly normal to begin the fall season, this year however temperatures have trended above seasonal for most of year.
Last year on October 20 , the Sault picked up about 13cm of snow. No snow is in the forecast this year,
Last October, a warming trend developed towards the end of the month – making for a very warm Halloween and and extremely warm start to November as temperatures hit above 20c. About two weeks later we picked up a substantial amount of snow , about 28cm. Then we didn’t see much until Christmas eve and Christmas day totalling a massive 128cm. Shortly after temperatures hit new heat records of 10c for January1st. The Sault never hit the -30c threshold, that we normally see for at least a few days each winter.
Despite the amount of snow in December, the entire Winter was well above seasonal as far as temperatures go. The average temperature hovered around the freezing mark for most of the winter.
So what’s in store for this winter?
According to national weather forecast models, the trend of a warmer winter continues. Typical winter weather is expected to start late ( though you can never rule out the odd cool down and snow storm) before the official start to winter on December 22. For the most part however and thanks to El Nino we are forecast to see mild temperatures and less snow caused by storms. We could see more snow thanks to lake effect and the warmer than average lake temperatures . That said, the long range models indicate as much as 50 percent less snow than last year. Sault Ste. Marie picked up over 300 cm of snow for all of last winter. Average amounts are closer to 400cm at 391cm.