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Unusually warm weather prompts complaints to Northern Michigan weather bureau

National Park Service
Temperatures at Sleeping Bear Dunes are far above normal for mid-October.

The unusually warm October weather in Northern Michigan has prompted complaints to the local office of the National Weather Service.

It’s been so abnormally warm that the low temperatures in the forecast have surpassed the typical highs for this time of year, said Jeff Lutz, a forecaster with the weather service in Gaylord.

Lutz said he doesn’t control the weather – he only predicts it – but he and his colleagues have still been getting some choice words from the public.

“There are a lot of people out there that we get on our Facebook page complaining about how warm it is for this time of year,” Lutz said.

Temperatures have surpassed 80 degrees in several parts of the state.

With the fall harvest season mostly finished, Lutz said he expects only scattered damage to crops, but he’s started to hear from snow sports companies worried about their seasons.

“When we start off so mild, especially as we get in closer to the wintertime, the recreational interests around Northern Michigan start to get a little antsy,” said Lutz.

A high-altitude jet stream that normally brings cold air south from Canada to Michigan is instead passing north of the state, leaving a high-pressure system lingering over the northern Midwest.

It’s impossible to tell whether the current weather pattern is a symptom of climate change, or just an oddity, said Lutz. But either way, he said, winters are expected to get warmer in Michigan over time.