GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Highs this next week will fall in the 50s more than the 60s, and this lean toward cooler temperatures is expected to last the entire month.
April was warm and wet in West Michigan. It turned out to be the sixth wettest on record for Grand Rapids and 11th wettest on record for Muskegon.
Following a month that featured two days in the 80s, seven days in the 70s, and eight days in the 60s, May will kick off with more days in the 50s than 60s.
That trend is expected to last. The Climate Prediction Center has highlighted the Great Lakes region as a spot that is more likely to see cooler temperatures than average temperatures. Following one of the wettest Aprils on record, this coming month is fortunately expected to pick up close to average rainfall, which is roughly four inches.
One of the culprits for the cold weather this coming week is the North Atlantic Oscillation, which is expected to go negative. The North Atlantic Oscillation is a linkage meteorologists have noticed regarding the jet stream and pressure changes near Iceland and the Azores.
Meteorologists call the link between these two spots a “teleconnection.” When this teleconnection pattern falls into a negative phase, we typically see cooler than average temperatures in West Michigan, because the westerly winds in the jet stream become weak, and tend to sag south. This allows cold air from Canada to filter into our state more frequently.
This doesn’t mean days in the 70s or 80s are impossible this month, it just means they will likely be less frequent compared to previous years.