60+ degrees!

December 3rd, 2012 at 2:30 am by 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.

95 Responses to “60+ degrees!”

  1. OWK says:

    Does anyone know of a site to learn all the technical jargon I read about weather? Maybe learn how to read some of the graphs too? Thanks.

    1. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

      Cort S will be on later. He will point you in the right direction.

      1. Rumrunner says:

        Cort is a dude? Huh. Learn something new every day…

        1. John (Holland) says:

          Cort (Courtney/Cortland) was originally a boy name, but it has flipped to mostly a girl name in recent decades.

        2. WhatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

          You’d better dump that one from the “spank bank” quick. You could always use Big daddy bc!

        3. Cort S. says:

          Cort’s a dude. It’s English / Old German for something maybe? I dunno.

          I think the “JetStream” website has a lot of good information. Lots of topics to learn about, and a lot of good illustrations.


          The topics are listed on the left side of the page. Within each topic are a number of sub-topics that will appear on the left side of the page.

        4. Rumrunner says:

          LOL… I know it can go both ways. I just figured he was a chick.

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          That’s very flattering, WhatBillwantstosaybutcant. Thanks.

        6. WhatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

          Your the first name that came to mind. It could have been Brad, or Irishcoffee, or any other yahoo on here. Probably should have gone with fixxxer though…

        7. big Daddy BC says:


        8. Bill Steffen says:

          “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade….” – James Hansen et al.

  2. OWK says:

    btw,heres a neat picture:http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=58609

    Fun site,btw.

  3. Irish coffee says:

    South Haven reporting “SNOW” @ 6am w/ temp. of 53/dew53…on NWSGRR obs page!! lol

  4. Storm waning says:

    We got just one more warm afternoon…. Until the next warm afternoon

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      50′s tomorrow will be a warm day too, you’re right!

  5. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    Monday’s high in Chicago is forecasted to be their warmest December high in more than a decade. Typical temperatures of late April.

    Rockford, Illinois, has a chance at setting its first ever 70 degree day in December. Wow.

    Here’s a cool map showing all the locations expected to set new record highs today or are within 3 degrees. It currently shows GR’s forecast being within 1 degree of a record high:


    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      GR NWS has a high of 61° for GR. It is a tough temp forecast today with the fog. NWS has 60° high for A2.

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        I’ll be watching this today… Looks like Chicago is 59 already at 9:30AM on December 3rd. That’s as warm as some mornings in May or June!


    2. Brad says:

      Last week, I brought up the possibility of hitting 70, and today we see how close we are to 70-degree readings. WOW!

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Last week, I was saying 60 and nobody really believed GR would see it. Let alone, almost 3 days!

        1. Brad says:

          I remember that well. WOOD-TV8 seems to miss on the low side in their forecasts. Those of us who were watching the weather patterns develop saw the 60s and 70s coming.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          Yeah…and you saw that coming in February and March (2013). How’d that work out for you!

      2. michael g (SE GR) says:

        61* here. That’s practically 70*.

  6. INDY says:

    Bill back in 1988 we had a hot summer a drought in 2012 a hot summer we are in a drought if we don’t get a lot of snow this winter the rivers will dry up the fish will die a good snow pack would be nice we are so dry in West Michigan it’s killing our trees ..Quake Japan has a fiz on mother nature she don’t know what to do anymore our earth is bent now and the cold is out!!!!! INDYY….

    1. Storm waning says:

      Based upon your logic, was seismic event precipitated the drought of 1988, the dust bowl of the 1930′s, etc?

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        You got the point all wrong… you have to prove the nut theory wrong, not them proving it is correct…

      2. INDY says:

        We dont remember the dust bowl how do even know it happend?? Quake Japan we do know it and the earth is bent the months are running into each other and the weather shows and the cold air blows !!!! INDYY..

        1. Storm waning says:

          Bent? Running into each other? Koo-koo achoo. I am the egg man you are the walrus. What is this? Ease up on the Sprites.

          If Bill S. agrees to this then maybe your theory holds some water. But it is bad science. I doubt it.

        2. INDY says:

          Thats the problem we have people that are paper champs on whats happen in the past u can’t grow or eat with the past we dont have any prof of sales on what has happend years ago u can’t base or show a case on weather 10 years 100 years 1000 years ago this is now and the earth is on a change of direction it shows step oustside lakes are drying up we still don’t know who killed JFK and it’s 63* degrees in December in West Michigan the cold weather is going bye bye u will have to fly air Alaska to feel some snow Michigans snow will be a fact of the past time 5 years from now!!! Little kids will remember snow some will say did it even snow in Michigan??? From saying the pool’s back open ..INDYY….

        3. GunLakeDeb says:

          Indy, Sweetie – this is the problem. We are looking at weather within our lifetime – and declaring it to be hotter/colder/drier/wetter, etc. Our lifetimes, in the whole scheme of things, are a pimple on a gnat’s backside. The earth has been doing “stuff” for millions of years – either we can ride it out – or not. I’m voting for the “ride it out” option.

    2. Storm waning says:

      The recent earthquake in Japan shifted the earth’s axis by half a foot. You may be wondering if that’s enough to change earth’s weather. No, not really, says Jerry McManus, a climate scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Earthquakes unleash a tremendous amount of energy, but not enough to upset the energy balance of earth’s atmosphere and oceans, which drive weather patterns in the short term, he says. Larger shifts of the planet’s rotational axis happen each year due to the fluctuating mass of earth’s atmosphere and oceans without changing the weather. These natural variations can push earth’s axis up to 39 inches, far more than the Japan earthquake’s 6.5-inch nudge or the 2010 Chile earthquake’s 2.8-inch shift. Those shifts are tiny compared to long-term, cyclical shifts in earth’s movement that can raise or lower the planet’s thermostat. The planet currently leans at a 23.5 degree angle as it circles the sun, causing winter at one end of the globe and summer at the other, as its orientation toward the sun redistributes the amount of sunlight falling on each hemisphere annually. But the seasons can be greatly intensified depending on variations in earth’s tilt over long timescales. Every 41,000 years or so, earth’s tilt shifts about a degree in each direction—the equivalent of nearly 70 miles. At its highest tilt—24.5 degrees—more sunlight falls on the poles; at its lowest—22.1 degrees—more light falls on the equator.

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-04-big-earthquakes-disrupt-world-weather.html#jCp

    3. I am with you on that INDY. I said the same thing to my wife.

  7. Storm waning says:

    Seismologist will tell you there are earthquakes all the time all over the world along fault lines. Yes, the earthquake in Japan was size able but it has no impact upon the weather. This “butterfly” affect does not translate. It’s location causing a tsunami was the biggest impact. Not precip in west Michigan

  8. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    After this big warm-up, looks like a burst of cold followed by another warm-up.

    Highs on Wednesday will fall into the upper 30s, slightly below normal for
    early December. This arctic airmass will be short lived over Michigan as the longwave pattern becomes briefly amplified and progressive with a ridge building back in by Thursday.

    Pattern continues for now…

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Yes, that is what Bill said in his post… =)

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Looking at the current forecast, WOOD is actually showing a gradual cooldown extending to next weekend where as NWS is saying Wed will be the coolest day before warming back up. We’ll see!

  9. INDY says:

    Going for a high of 66* degrees today in WEST MICHIGAN..That would be a new recored!!! Keep giving your tree’s water they are coming out of the ground there roots are dead our earth is drying up 10 more years and we will not have any trees left just shrubs and bugs …..62* warm out at the YARDofBRICKS 10am..The drought is going strong cats and dogs need water!!! INDYY…

  10. Jordan (Twin Lake) says:

    How rare is it to be in a 2% tornado risk in December?

    1. INDY says:

      Only going to get more and more Tornado risk in December now !!December is a part of spring thanks to Quake Japan Mother Nature told me!!! INDYY…

      1. Storm waning says:

        “Mother Nature told me”. Well you cannot argue with that

        1. GunLakeDeb says:

          ROFL!!! You are absolutely right!

      2. Scott (west olive) says:

        U move up to the hard sprites today? Lol. Would be nice to get the lake back up. Parts of pigeon lake are showing I have never seen before.

    2. Cort S. says:

      Can’t remember one off the top of my head, but rarely we do get something crazy that produces severe weather in the winter.

      I can think of events like December 22, 2007:

      And January 7, 2008:

  11. Stephen says:

    Not trying to be rude but can i still take a bet with you Bill about above average temps and below average snowfall? Sure seems like winter will never start.

  12. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Looks like a pretty big storm with plenty of warm air and rain for Sunday/Monday. Models still aren’t sure if it will cool down after that. At leats the rain will be good for the rivers….not for the ski resorts.

  13. haanstar says:


    He seems to think we may have a snow storm on the way for middle of December. Read forcast text.

    1. John (Holland) says:

      Long range models say it’ll be a white Christmas. We’ll see, but here’s hoping.

  14. fixxxer says:

    wish it were sunny out but the 60 will feel great.

  15. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

    The 12Z GFS gives us a warm up for the weekend with a decent storm and rain for us, quickly followed by another storm which wallops Detroit with a pretty good snowstorm, but is too far SE to give the GR area much more than a few inches. This is still 7-8 days out, so take it with a grain of salt.

    1. Jacob G says:

      Last night’s run off the European had a similar storm heading up to the plains, with some Canadian air to follow, then a week later with an Alberta clipper with some decent lake effect and cold temps. We will see if the old saying hear thunder in winter, possible snow storm in 7 days. I know we are not lunar winter yet but we are meteorological winter. Hey at least we are seeing multiple models now latching onto this mid month idea that has been floating around for a pattern change. If it does happen that is pretty impressive we were able to see it that far in advance.

    2. John (Holland) says:

      I’d gladly take a few inches at this point. I’d prefer a few feet, but whatever.

      1. Ryan says:

        That’s what sh… ah never mind.

        1. Jack says:

          Was That Soft or Hard ? Humor ? ;-)

  16. DF (SE Mich) says:

    I will be watching intently the Fairbanks, AK temperature today running almost 40° below normal. Up to a balmy -36° last hour.

    1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

      Averages in Alaska are insane. Against averages, temperature swings near the poles are always the most extreme.

      And Alaska in 2012 has been the poster boy for record highs and record lows. My favorite was in the winter of 2012 when the temperatures in interior Alaska went from -54 to +43 degrees and making record highs in less than two weeks. Biggest jump ever recorded.

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        That was cool =)

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      When I see our temps so “warm” and Alaska’s so cold – it DOES feel like last winter :-( But I’m not giving up hope yet…..

  17. TACO BOY says:

    Jeez Indy has had a long night with his sprites. What a wingnut……

  18. Steelie says:

    Good Day,

    Huh… looks like the CPC has us “above normal” in the first three categories for both temps and precip and E/C on the three month outlook…



    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Actually, they didn’t commit to a greater that 40% chance of anything in any of those outlooks. They’ll never be wrong!!

  19. Scott (west olive) says:

    What is that single Japanese model say for us this year? The only one to predict our warm winter last year.

  20. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    Looks like GR has hit 60 already… I’m seeing 72 in North Central Illinois!

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      The fog must be breaking over there, still soup over here and 53°. Fairbanks now -38°.

  21. Mike Geukes says:

    Someone should do a Snow Dance, it would be nice to have 2 feet on snow on the ground, and have it last to April.

    1. Mike Geukes says:

      -44 in Eagle Alaska, wish I was there, too warm here 61 here in Grand Rapids, going to turn the AC on to get it ice cold in our place.

  22. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

    12Z European model has a major storm deepening to 983 mb over Lake Huron by next Sun night/Monday. We would start warm, but go over to snow and wind on the back side. This model only has one storm…GFS has the two storm idea. Canadian shows one storm, mostly rain.

  23. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    I am at 60 here with dark heavy clouds. Getting ready to take a nice warm December walk. I will be looking to see if any dandelions are out yesterday I counted 23 dandelions blooming. Any one else see any dandelions out?

    1. ryan says:

      sounds like somebody needs some weed n feed

  24. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

    I see a location in Chicago at 72 right now… Chicago has only hit 70 two times in December in its recorded history. 72 would be a record all-time high in December. Up to 74 right now in Central Illinois. Holland currently at 63.

    Just incredible!


    And it looks like what little snow is left in Houghton will be gone by tonite:


    1. arcturus says:

      But if it doesn’t hit a record high (but gets close) … or isn’t close to a string of warm temps (but is still highly unusual), then we can ignore this as insignificant since Bill needs records to be broken. Forget about being a degree or 2 short (though 30 degrees above norm!).

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        Looks like Chicago Midway at least hit a record so far.

        “New record high temperatures set in cities across 15 states, including Chicago Midway; Fayetteville, AR; Kansas City; Reagan National.”

      2. michael g (SE GR) says:

        Records are broken somewhere in the world every day, and they always will be. They earth’s temp overall in running +.06* above the 30 year average. Hardly a record.

        1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

          I really don’t understand the cool weather bias of this blog but okay. Historic weather events happening right in the midwest, and everytime one of us points it out we hear about cool temps somewhere else. Just weird?

        2. big Daddy BC says:

          The cool weather bias exists because no one on here wants to admit that it’s hot. If you watch Bill’s thread headings, there’s almost always some extreme cold, snow, or historic justification for heat. You can hardly stump anti-science, denier rhetoric and then admit it’s hotter than it should be.

        3. Brian(Grandville) says:

          There is no bias dialog on this blog. There are facts, and there are opinions. Conservative guy listens to Fox News, because that’s what he wants to here. Liberal guy listens to MSNBC, because that’s what he wants to here. It’s not to hard to figure us out on here. This is a great blog, with great people on it, even the ones we disagree with. It’s a lot of fun, and sometimes quite comical. One last thing, BDBC. IT’S NOT HOT! Turn your thermostat down man.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          The last 3 days…Grand Rapids 15 degrees warmer than average…Northway, Alaska 34.3 degrees COOLER than average! Wow!

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          Case in point. Thanks, Bill.

          Brain, you’re living in a fantasy world. I don’t watch FOX or NBC. I use rational thought, logic, and fact to form opinions, not corporate think tanks. Good of you to admit you can’t thing for yourself. And I think you’re right, many of the stooges on here are just like you…including Bill. Just look at all right-wing blogs he links. It’s astonishing, truly.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          I use NASA: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif (no warming in over 10 years)

          State Climatologists: “There is no evidence that climate change contributed to the lack of rainfall, because rainfall has risen over the past century in the state.” Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon

          Data: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png (Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice at an all-time historic record extent)

          I also read about respected scientists who were “alarmists” who have now become skeptics:




          It would be tragic if you and your crony-profiteering friends managed to force “skyrocketing” utility rates and $9 a gallon “European level” gasoline prices on the poor and middle class.

    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      We tied the record low in Ann Arbor on November 6, that was incredibly cold. It is about time we warm up for a day. 55° here in A2. -36° in Fairbanks at 11am local time.

      1. Travis (Oxford, MI) says:

        I could be wrong, but I don’t think GR or Detroit has set one record low this year. Just lots of record highs. Been that kind of year!

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          Yeah, I think you are correct. That temp was at the Ann Arbor Airport station on November 6.

        2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

          Its seems that there is a cold spot where the 2A temps are taken.

        3. DF (SE Mich) says:

          It is the warm spot in SE Mich right now at 58°…

  25. Storm waning says:

    Saw someone mowing, raking, and general yard work in Grandville. No joke, smell of fresh cut grass in December. Reminds me of the winter back in 19…….. Who cares. Point is, they’re mowing the LAWN!

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Really? It is kind of wet out there =)

  26. John (Holland) says:

    It’s so humid outside! It feels like that first warm day of the spring, right after the snow melts and everything’s wet. I like that day, but not in December…

    The bare-root tree I ordered from the Arbor Day Foundation arrived and I planted it today. I hope this warmup doesn’t harm it, since bare-root trees are planted dormant. Some of the branches were cracked, so I hope it survives that too.

    1. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

      I once planted my Arbor Day trees in a snowstorm the day before Thanksgiving about 8 years ago. They are still going strong.

  27. Scott (Belmont) says:

    Does anyone know where all the cold and snow is? Many of the bloggers and experts have talking about the incoming cold air for about 3 or 4 weeks? Does anyone really believe that we will end up this winter with near average temps and near or above average snow? I just don’t see it happening. It would be nice to cool down to at least 30 degree and actually see a few inches of snow! Is that too much to ask!

  28. Brad says:

    Anyone want to bet some orchards will be out of business by next winter?

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      With this economy… =)

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      Farmers sure don’t like the extra taxes and poorer patient care that will come with Obamacare.

  29. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

    12Z European model showing a Great Lakes blizzard by next week. Pretty sure it showed one a few weeks back. I must have slept through that blizzard.


    1. fixxxer says:

      Hope not we dont need any blizzards right now.

    2. Scott (Belmont) says:

      Sounds good lets hope it verifies!

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