Michigan has had a strange winter. Really, Michigan's 2023 weather pattern, into early 2024 was very odd. It was much warmer, and drier than usual, with occasional events of soaking rain, or heavy snow. But even those were often short lived.

This is because the U.S. has been in a phase of El Niño, which often brings cooler, wet weather to the west and south, and warmer, drier weather to the north. But things are about to change according to meteorologists, and now with El Niño on the way out, it's time for La Niña.

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El Niño was especially harsh on Michigan this past year. Record high temperatures were set all across the state, with record low snowfalls. Parts of the Upper Peninsula, which usually see dozens of feet of snow every winter, may have only seen a few feet this winter - hardly enough to even reach a person's waist at times.

The Great Lakes also suffered with one of the lowest amounts of ice coverage since meteorologists began keeping records.

READ MORE: Great Lakes Ice at Historically Low Numbers

But things could soon change, as weather analysts show that a high pressure system is about to settle off the coast of California, south of Alaska, which will change the path of weather patterns across the U.S.

El Niño
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Typically, when we have an El Niño year, that system will settle further south, allowing the weather systems to make landfall in central, to southern California, and work their way across the southern states.

But during El Niña, everything is pushed north, and weather systems will typically make landfall in the Pacific Northwest, and track across the Central Plains, and up across the Great lakes, bringing more wet conditions.

La Niña
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That means, once La Niña settles in, Michigan will see a much wetter, and cooler environment - MUCH more like what we're used to, albeit maybe a LITTLE more on the extreme side. But we've got some making-up to do after 2023.


Michigan's Insane 2023 Weather

Last year started off VERY strange following an outbreak of fires in Canada that drastically affected the air quality all along the Eastern Seaboard, and the Great Lakes area. Michigan was also subject to these conditions, as right when we were meant to be spending more time outside (Spring had sprung), the air was trying to kill us.

READ MORE: There's Something Strange about the Smoke in Michigan

Michigan wasn't without a late winter storm, though, as Herman, Michigan received 52 inches of snow in a multi-Day storm. The first 48 inches fell in the first two days, with the rest coming at the tail end. It SHATTERED the state record for May Snowfall.

Once the smoke cleared, though, Michigan began setting records for heat almost immediately. We came close to breaking some that had stood for more than 70 years, but never QUITE hit that level of insanity, like the 1936 Midwest Heat Wave. However, the heat wouldn't solely stay in Summer.

READ MORE: Michigan's Gloomy October on Pace to Break Records

Michigan's Fall was abnormally warm, and dry, for the most part, thanks to El Niño settling in. However, October broke the mold with some form of rain event nearly every weekend, AND it went down as one of the warmest Octobers on record for West Michigan. Couple with that cloudy skies for all but about five days in the month, it made October 2023 one of the gloomiest on record for West Michigan.

So needless to say, Michigan is ready for some normalcy. We're ready for some humidity, some mild temperatures, and hopefully an actual, true winter where we can break out the winter clothing, and LEAVE the shorts and short sleeves in storage for a few months.

These Weather Memes Are Pure Michigan

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Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

Look at these Incredible Photos from Around Lake Michigan

Eric Hines is a part-time photographer, based out of Northwest Indiana, and specializes in landscape photography from all around Lake Michigan, including some incredible shots from across the Lake, showing Chicago's Skyline.

Gallery Credit: Eric Hines Photography