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NOAA’s fall weather predictions point to hotter, drier fall for Michigan

A season temperature outlook depicting  a map of the U.S. Michigan is highlighted with a color symbolizing a higher chance of seeing warmer temperatures in the fall

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is predicting a warmer and drier fall in mid-Michigan this year.

NOAA released its three-month outlook for September 2023 to November 2023, predicting what fall could bring for the country.

NOAA predicts temperatures will be higher than normal for Michigan including the Capital Region with an equal chance of above or below normal precipitation.

Jeff Andresen is the state's climatologist. He says though the NOAA predictions call for a 40-50% chance of above average temperatures for most of the state, it could be beneficial for agriculture in the state.

“Agriculture in the Michigan region is very diverse. There's all these different crops. And so, there’s always going to be a mixed bag of impacts. I think, collectively, the warmer and drier than normal fall would be more positive than it would be negative,” Andresen said.

Andresen says the prediction is in line with the rising temperatures in the Great Lakes region.

“There are some long term trends involved here. In the Great Lakes region, our temperatures are increasing. They definitely have increased over the last few decades. And much of the warming has occurred during the winter season, but to some extent, also in the spring, and the fall,” he explained.

NOAA and Andresen both say El Niño, which can cause warmer winters in Michigan, will likely stick around through the fall, peaking around winter.

However, Andresen says the NOAA forecasts are not entirely “skillful” enough to be indicative of what fall will ultimately look like.

“In the winter, that's the best season for these long lead outlooks. And that's followed by the summer, but the transitional seasons are tough. So, it's what the forecast calls for, but it's certainly not a not a slam dunk.”

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