Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 26, 2014

Warmth on way — really

TRAVERSE CITY — Kenneth Hogarth is bracing for a mosquito-intensive season.

The owner of Williamsburg-based Hogarth’s Pest Control Company has seen pest populations fluctuate every year.

“I think that with as much snow and things we have going on, the ground is going to be saturated with a lot of standing water,” Hogarth said.

Welcome, mosquitoes. But not for a while.

Snow could melt later this week as temperatures rise above freezing.

Meteorologists predict a bit of warming this week to the mid- and upper-30’s Thursday through Saturday, breaking 40 degrees on Sunday, said Tim Locker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord.

“The storm tracks have been mostly to the south and cold Arctic air has been able to penetrate over the Great Lakes,” Locker said. “The jet stream is finally going to move to the north late this week.”

A storm system originating in the Central Plains is expected to enter the Traverse City area tonight, bringing snow, freezing rain and rain that could last through Friday morning, Locker said.

Temperatures continue to be below normal, Locker said, although temperature forecasts are looking up for the summer.

Climatologists project below-normal temperatures for the early spring, but more average temperatures as it turns to summer.

“That could be greatly weighted toward April’s cold temperatures,” Locker said.

Mosquitoes aren’t the only critters that could benefit from all the winter snow. Other animals that humans typically consider pests are kept warm by an insulating layer of snow.

“Little rodents and things that would be nesting in the ground and snow are actually so well-insulated,” said Katie Keen, a wildlife technician at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Predators like coyotes, foxes, owls and hawks eat better when there’s a thriving rodent population, she said.

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