The Winter of 1955-56August 31st, 2010 at 11:50 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
<–Methodist Church in Nashville, Michigan 1956. The last time we had a summer as warm as this one was 1955. People asked if I’d look up to see what the weather was like in the fall and winter of 1955-56: September (+0.9°) and October (+3.7°) were both warmer than average. It turned cold in November (-2.7°) and the lake-effect snow machine sprang to life. We had 18.5″ of snow in Grand Rapids and lakeshore areas had more than that. December was cool (-1.6°) but Grand Rapids only had 9.4″ of snow that month. January was almost exactly normal for temperatures, but we had only 5.3″ of snow. February was also almost exactly normal for temperature but with 22.9″ of snow. March was nearly 4 degrees colder than average with another 17.5″ of snow. It finally reached 50° on April 1, then 60° on April 2, then on April 3rd, 1956 the temperature climbed into the upper 70s just before the dinner hour…and just before a massive F5 tornado descended from an ominous sky and plowed through Ottawa and Kent Counties leaving 17 dead and 340 injured. The strongest wind anywhere on Earth in 1956 occurred on April 3, 1956 on Van Buren Street in Hudsonville, Michigan. That tornado, the only F5 tornado to occur anywhere in the world in 1956, came the April following that warm summer of ’55. It’s also interesting to note that we are going to be in a moderate La Nina – similar to the winter/spring of 1955-56 and we had a cold PDO in 1955-56.