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Isle Royale Least Change Climate Scenarios

This page is part of the project: Isle Royale

Variable Least Change (2050s) Hot/Dry (2050s) Hot/Wet (2050s)
Temperature

+ 2ºC (~4ºF)1

the greatest warming is expected to occur during the cold-season

Extremes:

less than 5 additional days per year with temperatures >= 95ºF2

15 less days per year with temperatures <= 32°F3

+  4ºC (~7ºF)

the greatest warming is expected to occur during the cold-season

less than + 4ºC (~7ºF)

the greatest warming is expected to occur during the cold-season

Precipitation

5% increase4

Future snowfall amounts are less certain.5  We do know that snow pack is forming later and melting earlier.  

Extremes:

Intensity of extreme precipitation events will likely continue to increase, and severe drought is becoming less common.

5% increase

+ 15% overall

(25% increase in wintertime total precipitation but the number of days6 that receive snowfall are expected to decrease by 25%)

up to +30% increase in number of days with > 1 inch liquid water equivalent

Frost Free Period

+20 frost-free days in growing season7

Last spring freeze 1 week earlier

   
Wind no change no change no change
Lake Levels no change - 0.6 m + 0.4 m
Lake Superior Water Temperature +2ºC (3.6ºF) in warm-season8    
Lake Superior Ice Cover -12 days with ice cover9 up to -47 days with ice cover up to -47 days with ice cover

 

  • 1. annual mean: 4.1ºC (39.4ºF); DJF mean: -8.2ºC (17.3ºF); JJA mean: 14.9ºC (58.8ºF)
  • 2. heat waves are not expected to increase in the northern Midwest
  • 3. there will be less cold events during the cold-season
  • 4. annual mean: 24.6 inches; DJF mean: 0.69 inches; JJA mean: 3.3 inches; Precipitation totals include rain and the liquid equivalent of frozen and freezing precipitation (e.g., snow, sleet, freezing rain, and hail)
  • 5. annual total snowfall in inches ~150[bib]975
  • 6. annual average for MI ~46 days
  • 7. annual average ~170 days (since 1980)
  • 8. Water temperatures will reach 10ºC (50ºF) in the spring 10-12 days earlier.  Water temperatures will cool to 10ºC in the fall 15-17 days later.
  • 9. ice exists between 77 to 115 days per cold-season (1950-95); 70% surface coverage at winter maximum