60+ degrees!December 3rd, 2012 at 2:30 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Monday high temperatures: 65 Grand Rapids – a daily record, 65 Muskegon, also a daily record. S. Haven made 68 and Midway Airport in Chicago reached 72. The first 3 days of December have averaged 15 degrees warmer than average (the first 3 days of December averaged 34 degrees colder than average). It was the warmest temperature in G.R. in December since 2001 and only the 7th time that we have reached 65 in December.
It was quite warm to our southwest on Sunday with Springfield IL reaching 71 for an afternoon high and St. Louis all the way up to 75! I don’t think we get that warm, but low t0 even mid 60s is doable. The record high temperature in G. R. for Monday is 64 in 1998. 1998 was a similar warm year in West Michigan and across much of the Lower 48 states. In 1998 we had an incredible stretch of 30 days in a row that were warmer than average from Nov. 22 thru Dec. 21. Beginning on Nov. 28, the high temperatures were 63,65,64,54,57,64,58,60,60. We didn’t see any measurable snow that month until the 20th. It did get cold after that. From Dec. 20 thru Jan. 16, the warmest temperature was 37 and we ended that winter with above average snowfall. We had only 4.6″ of snow through Dec. 30th. We then had 43.5″ of snow from Dec. 31 through Jan. 12th. I remember the heavy snow from Jan. 2-4 and I remember that was about the only time I just about couldn’t see the house behind our house because it was snowing and blowing so hard.
Most of the Lower 48 is warmer than average, with the cold bottled up north of Montana in W. Canada and Alaska. Northway, Alaska had a HIGH temperature of -40 on Sunday (and a low of -49). Fairbanks had a high/low of -29/-35. Look at how cold some of these temperatures are in Alaska. No sign of any of that coming down here anytime soon.
We got down to at least 35 Sunday night in G.R. I didn’t think it would get quite that cold. The dewpoint was 46 at 5 PM when I made my forecast and without a significant change in airmass (wind was pretty calm), you wouldn’t think that’d G.R. (maybe for Big Rapids) would get at least 11 degrees cooler than the dew point. You sure do get thick fog with the mostly clear skies above, calm winds and the moisture from the rain Saturday night. There sure was a heavy dew, enough to click some of the rain gauges to 0.01″ for the day.
Overnight model data: The European, GFS and NAM (caribou) have highs in the low 60s today (Monday). The NAM has the bulk of the rain from midnight to 6 AM with 0.28″. The GFS is at 0.26″ and the European at 0.29″ – so remarkably similar. It’s still in the upper 40s to low 50s at midday Tuesday, but temperatures fall back to the mid-upper 30s on Weds. (and dry). The European has another 0.03″ Thurs. night (probably rain)…The GFS has 0.20″ Thurs. PM thru Friday. The GFS keeps us seasonably cool, while the European takes us back to low 50s on Sunday the 9th before a cold front comes thru Sunday night. The GFS takes the temperature to 54 Sunday night. I’ll wait and look at all the European maps later today. The picture is a moose thermometer from mooseville.com. in Maine.