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Another Cloudy Day – Weather History – The Michigan Weather Center
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Another Cloudy Day – Weather History

I am making changes to the site once again which is leading up to background updates that aren’t visually apparent to the users.  There are a lot of machinations of code that need updating to keep the gears moving and to please the gods of WordPress.  These changes can break the site so changes must be made incrementally to the various parts of the Center which are many, so bear with me as I slog my way through this.

Today will be mostly cloudy with warmer than normal temperatures, even though a cold front comes through the area by mid-afternoon. A storm system from the Southern Plains will head toward Michigan on Friday. While the storm will be weakening by then, it still may bring us 1 to 2 inches of snow.  Next week will bring us above normal temps before Canadian air once again moves into the area just after mid-month.

Weather History for SW Michigan

December 4

1886: A record cold snap continues across Lower Michigan. Lansing falls to 13 degrees below zero, as the temperature hits zero or below on the first five days of the month there.

1941: Three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lower Michigan is basking in record-warm early December weather. Record highs included 60 degrees at Muskegon, 63 degrees at Grand Rapids, and 64 degrees at Lansing.

2009: A narrow band of heavy snow across central Ottawa and Kent Counties drops over a foot of snow from Allendale to Comstock Park. Up to 15 inches fall in northern sections of Grand Rapids.

December 5

2001: This is one of the warmest December days on record in Lower Michigan. Grand Rapids and Lansing set record highs of 69 degrees. Holland and Flint both hit 70 degrees.

December 6

1958: Arctic air settles into Lower Michigan during one of the coldest December on record. High temperatures are only in the teens on this date. More than two feet of lake effect snow piles up at Muskegon during the first half of the month.

December 7

1909: A snowstorm drops from 5 to 8 inches of snow across southwest Lower Michigan.

1972: Record-cold weather prevails across southwest Lower Michigan with high temperatures only in the mid-teens and morning lows below zero.

December 8

1966: Temperatures reach record highs in the mid-60s only four days after record lows on the single numbers at Grand Rapids. The high of 64 degrees on this date followed the low of 8 degrees on the 4th.

2005: Cold weather prevails during the first half of December with record lows of 2 degrees above zero set at both Grand Rapids and Muskegon on this date.

December 9

1995: Arctic air and lake effect snow blasts Lower Michigan on this day and for the next three days. More than a foot of snow piles up near Lake Michigan and temperatures fall to the singles numbers at night, struggling only to the teens in the day.

December 10

1971: Record highs in the lower 60s are recorded across Lower Michigan as a southerly flow of warm moist air precedes a cold front. Record rains of around 2 inches fall as the cold front moves through.

2009: Near blizzard conditions develop as heavy snow combines with strong winds. From 12 to 16 inches of snow piles up across much of western Lower Michigan from December 9th to the 11th.

Weather History for SE Michigan

December 4

On December 4, 1998, the overnight temperature did not drop below a balmy 51 degrees in Detroit.

December 5

On December 5, 2007, a significant lake effect snowstorm dumped up to 10 inches of snow over portions of Huron and Sanilac Counties. Several dominant lake effect snow bands made their way onshore with snowfall rates up to 2 inches per hour in the morning. Some of the higher snowfall reports received included Richmondville (Sanilac) 10.0 inches, Deckerville (Sanilac) 8.0 inches, Forestville (Sanilac) 8.0 inches, and Harbor Beach (Huron) 7.0 inches.

Also on December 5, 2001, the temperature rose to 70 degrees in Flint. This is the record maximum temperature for the month of December in Flint. Detroit and Saginaw both reached 67 degrees, which easily set the record high temperature for the date. This was part of a very warm December which was the 9th warmest for Detroit, the 4th warmest for Flint, and the 5th warmest for Saginaw.

December 6

On December 6, 1998, the temperature rose to 69 degrees in Detroit. This set the record for the maximum temperature for the month of December in Detroit. This was followed by severe thunderstorms and wind damage across Southeast Michigan. The majority of the severe weather occurred near or south of Interstate 69. The most notable exception to this was a swath of wind damage across southern Sanilac County, from Marlette to Lexington. Barns and silos were destroyed near Marlette, and a home was deroofed.

December 7

On December 7, 1951, the temperature rose to 62 degrees in Detroit, which is 23 degrees above average.

December 8

On December 8, 2006, high temperatures were below freezing including 29 degrees at Detroit and Saginaw, and 27 degrees at Flint. This would be the last day in the month of December 2006 when the temperatures stayed below freezing. This December ranks as the 2nd warmest in Flint history, the 3rd warmest for Saginaw, and the 5th warmest for Detroit.

Also on December 8, 1966, Detroit Metro had a record high of 66 degrees.

December 9

On December 9, 2005, a snowstorm tracked from southern Missouri to central Lake Erie and dropped a widespread 6 to 9 inches of snow across most of southeast lower Michigan. At the height of the storm, during the early morning hours, snow fell at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour and several reports of thunder snow were received. There were two bands of heavier snowfall across southeast lower Michigan. The first band was a band of 7 to 9 inches along the Interstate 69 corridor, and the second was a band of 6 to 8 inches stretching from Adrian to Detroit.

December 10

On December 10, 1876, the overnight temperature plummeted to -9 degrees in Detroit, 34 degrees below the average overnight temperature for this day.

Forecast Discussion

-- Snow likely from I-96 to the South on Friday --

We are looking at fairly quiet weather from this morning through
Thursday evening before the system of note moves in. We have a short
wave over the area this morning that will be moving out, and leaving
a fairly flat and zonal flow in its wake. It will remain seasonable
through then, with the northern jet stream and cold air well up in

The biggest system of concern in the next seven days will be the
compact and progressive closed upper low that will move through the
region on Friday. There has been good agreement amongst the models
and ensembles with having the system. The disagreement has been with
the strength of the system, affecting the track and pcpn amounts
with it.

The trend of the models and ensembles over the last 24 hours has
been showing a better consensus with the track and pcpn amounts. The
majority of data indicates that the upper low will still be closed
as it approaches the area, moves across far Southern Lower, and
opening up as it moves east of the state. The implications of this
scenario would be that the mid level fgen with the deformation with
the low will be diminishing. The most likely area of best pcpn will
be from I-96 and to the south.

As has been mentioned often, there is not a lot of cold air
available with this system with it being a srn stream system and the
nrn stream well North. There does look to be just enough cold air to
allow for some accumulating snow. Sfc and ground temps do look
marginal for significant accumulating snow, especially during the
daylight hours. The heavier fgen bands will likely produce some snow
rates to overcome the warm ground, and bring sfc temps down a tad.
Another limiting factor in this, is that snow-liquid ratios will be
rather low, less than 10-1 ratios.

The bottom line to all of this, is that we are expecting some
accumulations that should occur mainly along and south of I-96.
Where the heaviest snow will end up falling is still a little bit in
the air, as is typically the case with fgen bands. Model and
ensemble mean amounts would point to a 1-2 inch forecast being the
best bet for now, with some locally higher amounts very possible. A
lot of the accumulation will be on the grassy areas, with roads
possibly getting slushy under the heaviest bands.

The snow will move out by Friday evening. The concern will be roads
that could ice up after dark as temps fall.

-- Light snow possible Saturday night --

Models are indicating that there will be a little better of a chance
of some mainly snow on Saturday night. They had been showing a weak
trough coming through with little moisture available. The trend here
has been for a stronger upper wave coming down from the NW, and it
actually closes off over the region.

This system still has little moisture to work with, but the forcing
will compensate a bit for that factor. Also, with a easterly low
level flow, there may be a little bit of a moisture boost from Lake
Huron. Still, snow amounts would generally be under an inch for our

-- Pattern changing system next week --

The weather should trend back to a more quieter pattern then for the
Sunday through early Tuesday time frame. A fairly high amplitude
ride will build over the area in response to the long wave trough
developing out over the Western U.S.. Even though the weather will
be quiet, it will be a little cool with a flow from the NE
funneling in the cooler air from Ontario and Quebec.

In the transition from the ridge moving east, we will rain develop
later Tuesday and Tuesday night as strong warm air advection ahead
of the western low pushes in. This rain will continue until the
occluded front moves through Wednesday morning. We will end up in
the dry slot, and hold the temps up a bit. The colder air will
eventually make it over the area with this large low, but after this
forecast period.


newest oldest
Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

GR is still on track for above average snowfall this season and all signs point towards a wild winter! Get ready to rock!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Just walked out to get the mail. Nice day today. Mostly sunny here with very little wind and 49 degrees.

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Clouded over some here now, but yes, very mild out again. I was going to take the mower deck today off but decided to wait. If we get a little rain with temps in the 50’s the yard will need to be mowed again. Already have several spots that are getting a bit shaggy.

Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

Things have clouded over here now but not before getting the temperature up to 48. A few degrees warmer than forecast

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

I just spend some time navigating the new layout. In general, I like it. I particularly like the color scheme and the fonts used. The website looks “cleaner.” Nice work, MV.

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Different look here but I like it. Cloudy and overcast today? Suns out and the sky is clear. Awesome sunrise this morning! One week of Winter in the books and it’s still mild and dry. Interesting occultation of Mars by the moon tonight to watch, info here…



Warm start to December! I found it interesting that Detroit is now below average for snowfall on the season.


Grand Rapids (along with many other locations) has already see a high of 50 or better. There is a chance that we could get into the 50’s once again next week. While very mild for December it is not at all unusual. In the past 30 years it had not reached at least 50 in December only 5 times. The last time was in 2009 with the highest reading that December of 49. The coldest maximum for any December in the last 30 years was in 2000 when the highest for the month was just 37.

Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)
Kyle (Portland, Ionia County)

The European model which I tend to like a little bit better is showing a bigger dump of cold air a little over a week away. Now granted that’s still a ways out so we shall see but the NWS seems to be thinking the same. It does show a period of lake effect snow once the cold gets here and obviously wind direction will be a big factor. I would certainly enjoy a white Christmas here in West MI.


Good morning. I hope everyone is getting accustomed to the new look to the site. Yesterday was yet another warmer than average day with an official H/L of 42/36, there was a trace of rain fall but no snow fall and there is no snow on the ground. There was also no sunshine as well. The overnight low both here and at GRR was 31 and the current temperature here in MBY is 32. For today the average H/L is 39/27. The record high was 62 in 1946 and the record low was -4 in 1972 the record snow fall… Read more »