ALPENA - Relief from higher-than-average temperatures in the Alpena area is on the way, starting today, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.
It's been pretty warm in Northeast Michigan, but residents haven't seen the worst of a heat wave baking the Midwest and creeping into the southern Lower Peninsula, said Mike Boguth, National Weather Service meteorologist. This will change as cooler air moves in from the northwest, potentially bringing a bit of much-needed rain with it.
The high temperature for Independence Day was 94 degrees and 91 the day after, considerably higher than normal highs of 79 degrees, Boguth said. Nighttime temperatures have been higher than usual as well.
"Overnight lows have been well into the 60s, so both day and night have been much above normal," he said.
The National Weather Service uses temperatures taken at the Alpena County Regional Airport for its official figures, Boguth said.
Both Wednesday's and Thursday's highs were four and five degrees shy, respectively, of the record-high temperatures for each day, Boguth said.
"We fell short of a record, appreciably short," he said. "But there's no doubt it's still a warm one, there's no getting around that."
Cooler air should have arrived starting Friday night, along with rain, Boguth said. Rains predicted for Friday night and this morning are the only appreciable rainfall predicted for the next week.
"I would love to see a quarter- to a half-inch in Alpena tonight," he said. Otherwise, Alpena could be headed for a drought before too long.
Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula has so far escaped a drought, while the southernmost counties are in desperate need of rain, Boguth said. This relative good fortune could change soon.
"We aren't in a drought yet, but it ain't going to take much longer if we don't get much rain," he said.
After today, the weather in the area should be cooler with lots of sunshine, Boguth said. High temperatures for Sunday and Monday are predicted to be in the mid-70s, and Tuesday's could be slightly higher.
"The next seven to 10 days after this look phenomenal," he said.
Temperatures are predicted to climb up to 80 degrees by Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
Should the oppressive heat return to the area, Boguth said there are a few important things to remember to stay safe.
"The biggest key, and this is so important for people, is to stay hydrated," he said. "Young children and older people are especially susceptible to dehydration, and a lot of times you don't realize you're dehydrated but you are."
People should try to stay inside and out of direct sunlight on the hottest days, preferably in a place with air conditioning, Boguth said.
Until the heat does return, northern Michigan should get a week-long break, Boguth said.
"Better times are ahead," he said. "I think where we're looking at now is like fantastic north Michigan summer weather. Hopefully people can get out and enjoy it, and enjoy everything we have to offer up here."
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5688.