December and Meteorological Winter

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast, Slim | 9

December and Meteorological Winter

You may hate it or love it but either way we are now about to enter meteorological winter. Of course, the months of December, January and February are the coldest months of the year here in west Michigan. In most winters they are the months with the most snow fall. Records have been kept here at Grand Rapids since 1892 in the years 1892 to 1895 there is some missing data. The location from were records were taken from appears to have moved 3 times. For a location somewhere downtown to the old airport between 36th and 44th streets near Kalamazoo ave. That airport opened  in 1927 but not sure when the weather station moved there. And since November 23rd, 1963 the official NWS office moved to its current location.

Meteorological Winter

The average temperature at Grand Rapids for the months of December, January and February is 25.0. The warmest meteorological winter is 33.9 set in 1931/32 The coldest is 18.2 set in 1903/04 The average current 30 year average for meteorological winter is 57.5” The snowiest meteorological winter was the 105.6” that fell in the 3 months in 2013/14 the total that season was 116.0. The least snow fall for any meteorological winter came is 1982/83 when just 11.8”fell. the total for that season was just 35.9” Last year 41.7” fell.

December

The current 30 year mean at Grand Rapids for December is 29.2. The warmest day in December is 69 and that was on December 5, 2001 The coldest low in December is -18 and that was on December 5, 1983. The warmest mean temperature for any December is 39.1° in 2015 the coldest mean for any December is 17.1 in 1989. The average December snow fall at Grand Rapids is 21.9” the most snow to fall in any December is 59.2” in 2000 the least snow fall is 1” that fell in 2014 Last year 14.3” of snow fell in December.

We will soon set back and see how the winter of 2020/21 plays out.

Just in case you did not see it before

Thanksgiving extremes

Here are some of the weather extremes on Thanksgiving at Grand Rapids, Lansing and Muskegon Michigan.

Grand Rapids

The warmest 65 on 11/26/1896 the warmest low was 56 also on that date. The coldest maximum was 15 on 11/27/1930. The coldest low was 7 on 11/28/1929. The wettest was 1.58” on 11/28/1968 the most snow fall was 6.8” on 11/22/1945 the most on the ground was 8” on 11/25/2004.

At Muskegon

The warmest was 63 on 11/26/2008 and aging on 11/22/2012 the warmest low was 52 on 11/24/1966. The coldest high was 24 on 11/24/1896 the coldest low was 8 on 11/23/1950. The wettest was 1.55” on 11/26/1981 the most snow fall was 6.5” on 11/28/2013 and also on that date was the most on the ground.

Lansing

The warmest high was 64 on 11/26/1896 the coldest high was 16 on 11/27/1930 the warmest low was 52 on 11/24/1966 the coldest low was 0 on 11/25/1880. The wettest was 1.30” on 11/23/1950 the most snow fall was 7.4” on 11/24/1949 the most on the ground was 8” on 11/27/1975.

Slim

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Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Lions fire the coach and GM! Both the Lions and U of M look horrible! Harbaugh is also over rated and he needs to go as soon as possible!

Nathan (Forest Hills)
Nathan (Forest Hills)

It will be interesting to see what the new 30 year averages are when they are updated sometime next year. I am guessing the averages will increase for the summer, and average snowfall will decrease for the winter.
Also I actually work about 2 minutes from the airport, so many of the observations I am seeing will reflect that of the NWS office.

Mookie
Mookie

Fourth straight above average day in another warm month in another warm year. Where’s the snow?

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Thanks for all the stats Slim! I am curious to know how much sunshine we’ve had this month compared to normal, or even compared to last year when we seemed to have none in November. It has been a bright month this year.

Bernie (Hamilton)
Bernie (Hamilton)

Michael and Slim, I am curious as to what your professional backgrounds are? Is meteorology just a hobby, or more than that? At one point in my young life, I considered going into meteorology, but when I was told that I would need extensive math, some chemistry, physics, etc… I chose to become a professional philosopher (after a few years of deeply contemplating unemployment, I went to school for physical therapy!). That being said, the natural sciences are still hobbies that I really enjoy.

MichaelV

Having retired a few years ago I still believe it is never too late to learn. My background is in computer sciences with some engineering thrown in for good measure. That said meteorology is heavy into mathematics, more so than the above-mentioned trades and math isn’t one of my strong suits beyond technical math and algebra. I do have college books on atmospheric studies and had to buy books on advanced algebra and calculus to ‘try’ to learn more. Geography and physics are beneficial also. At this point, meteorology is still more of a hobby and at this late stage… Read more »

MichaelV

We got a mention on Bills blog this week – the photo was from the party we threw for him a few years ago

https://www.woodtv.com/bills-blog-2/bills-blog-approaching-15-years-old/