East Central Lower Michigan

Included Counties: 
Arenac, Bay, Huron, Saginaw, Sanilac, Tuscola
Watersheds: 
Au Gres-Rifle, Birch-Willow, Cass, Flint, Kawkawlin-Pine, Lake Huron, Pigeon-Wiscoggin, Saginaw, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tittabawassee

Geography

The East Central Lower Michigan Climatic Division surrounds Saginaw Bay and covers most of the northern portion of the Thumb. It is almost entirely flat and dominated by agriculture, with small patches of mixed forests. The Saginaw Bay watershed is the largest drainage basin in Michigan, draining approximately 15% of the total land area. The watershed contains the largest contiguous freshwater coastal wetland system in the United States.

Overview

The effect of Lake Huron is particularly strong during periods of northeasterly winds.  Under these conditions, the long trajectory of the air over Lake Huron gives the Saginaw Bay area cooler summer temperatures, while increased snow shower activity may accompany the milder fall and early winter temperatures.  The lake effect, caused by the prevailing westerly winds blowing over Lake Michigan, often produces cloudiness which extends across Michigan's entire Lower Peninsula, modifying fall and early winter temperatures.  Diminished wind speeds or winds which do not traverse large unfrozen lakes often produce clearing skies and the colder temperatures expected at continental locations. Because the day-to-day weather is controlled by the movement of pressure systems across the nation, this area seldom experiences prolonged periods of hot, humid weather in the summer or extreme cold during the winter.
 

Changes In Precipitation

 in.cm.%
Annual3.99.913.49
Winter0.30.75.19
Spring1.33.317.61
Summer0.82.19.45
Fall1.33.417.69

Linear best-fit changes are calculated over the period 1950-2012. Percentage changes are calculated relative to the 1951-1980 historical reference period.

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Changes In Temperature

 °F°C
Annual2.51.4
Winter3.21.8
Spring3.21.8
Summer1.81.0
Fall1.60.9

Linear best-fit changes are calculated over the period 1950-2012. Percentage changes are calculated relative to the 1951-1980 historical reference period.

Seasonal Precipitation

Seasonal Temperature