At Dow Diamond the smell of hot dogs, warm roasted peanuts and fresh dirt on the mound are a warm welcome compared to the weather Mid-Michigan has experienced the last few months.
"The winter was way too long,” one Great Lakes Loons fan said.
But it's not just the fans who are ready for a change in season.
"It affects everything, all of my daily planning,” said Kelly Rensel, groundskeeper for Dow Diamond.
When it comes to weather, Rensel said watching the forecast is a critical part of his job.
He said it can be a struggle sometimes keeping the field together.
The question is, how soon will this summer weather arrive and will it stick around for a while?
Meteorologist Kylee Miller said this summer will be a good one.
"Well summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means - hot temperatures, sunshine, some rain showers and thunderstorms. In June, Flint and Saginaw's high temperature average is in the upper 70s. For the month of July, temperatures average in the lower 80s. While in August, temperatures average back in the upper 70s,” Miller said.
For those worried the spring's colder temperatures might be signs of a cooler summer, Meteorologist Dan Giroux said we may be calling foul to early.
"So, I looked at the North Atlantic Oscillation, which is a difference in pressure out over the north Atlantic. In addition to the Arctic Oscillation, which is a circulation around the Arctic Circle. Now both of those are heading into their negative phase, which typically means we're going to see some slightly cooler than average temperatures. With that being said, that's not necessarily the case,” Giroux said.
Meteorologist Chris Easlick said data from summer's past shows temperatures may be in a serious warm-up in the coming months.
"For instance, we often look for La Nina or El Nino. Which one are we coming out of, which one are we going into? Those types of trends, So, the year's I looked at were 2012, 2006, 2001 and 1984. In Saginaw and Flint over the course of three months, the average of the highs and lows all through those three months are usually around 68 to 69 degrees. And when we looked at those four years in particular with a similar set up, we averaged temperatures that were near or slightly above average,” Easlick said.
With each warm up in weather, comes the potential for storms. Chief Meteorologist Bryan Bachman said the bases are loaded for severe weather in our summer outlook.
“Now a potential X-factor actually comes from the Great Lakes themselves. This particular year, we actually wound up seeing most of the lake ice melt by the late stages of February and early March. Since we're going in a bit warmer, at the start of spring and summer, that could lead to a potentially warmer atmosphere in the Great Lakes. With more moisture, thus potentially more energy available for storms,” Bachman said.
Despite a few grounders throughout the season, the First Warn 5 team predicts overall, this summer will be fair.
As Rensel works to keep the field at Dow Diamond in good shape, he's hoping they're right.
"I hope so. I hope so. The warmer the better,” he said.
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