Posted: Dec 26, 2019 / 02:44 AM ESTUpdated: Dec 26, 2019 / 02:44 AM EST
This was the 3rd warmest Christmas Day ever in Grand Rapids. The warmest Christmas Day was in 1982, when G.R. reached 65°. I picked a blooming dandelion in my front yard that day. We also had an inch of rain in G.R. that day (midnight-to-midnight). December of 1982 had 5 days that reached the 60s and another 4 days with highs in the 50s. The second warmest Christmas as way back in 1893, with a high of 57°.
Muskegon had the 2nd warmest Christmas Day ever. However, records in Muskegon start in 1896, so they missed that warm Christmas in 1983. Lansing and Kalamazoo had a top five warmest Christmas.
Here’s high temperatures Sunday. The warmest was 59° at the airports at S. Haven and Benton Harbor. They were warmer than Phoenix AZ and Los Angeles CA.
It was cooler in N. Lower Michigan and the U.P. and also in N. Wisconsin, where there was snow on the ground. The warm, moist air generated fog as it came over the snow. A Dense Fog Advisory remains in effect for much of the U.P., northern Wisconsin and SE Minnesota until noon (Thu.). Rudolph helped Santa get around the U.P. Tue. night.
Mild to unseasonably warm weather covered much of the East, Southern Great Lakes and the South. The temperature reached 70° as far north as Coffeyville KS and St. Louis MO. Temperatures were on the cool side in the Desert SW. The REAL cold air is up in Alaska and N. Canada. The town of Arctic Village, Alaska had a low temp. of -50F Christmas morning.
Some interesting facts here…Christmas Day was the warmest day in Grand Rapids since Oct. 28 – warmer than any day in November.
And…we finally have had a stretch of dry weather. It’s been a long time coming. The last time we had 7 dry days in a row was Sept. 10-17, 2018. The dry period has caused most river levels to fall slightly. However, most rivers are still well above average flow. Early Thu. AM, the Grand River at Grand Rapids was at 160% of average flow. The Kalamazoo River at Comstock was at 122% of average flow and the St. Joseph River at Niles was at 130% of average flow.
Much of Lower Michigan was snow-free on Christmas Day, but there was snow on the ground in N. Lower Michigan and the U.P. Here’s a look at some snow cover reports from Christmas morning. E. Jordan and Mancelona had the most snow in Lower Michigan. As the warm, moist air hit the snow, it created fog.
This was a pic. from the Mackinac Bridge webcam, looking north toward the U.P. The road just disappears into a cloud (fog is a cloud near the ground.
This was the scene at the shore at Alpena, Michigan Christmas morning. You can see that ice has formed, and the warmer air coming over the ice created fog.
This is a webcam pic. from East Grand Rapids Christmas afternoon. You can see a mix of ice and open water. The sensor showed a water temp. of 35° for Reeds Lake. Look at the flag and you’ll see the wind was light. The average wind speed for Christmas day (midnight-to-midnight) was 5.9 mph and we had 49% of possible sunshine.
Today (the 26th) we gain 18 seconds of daylight compared to yesterday (12/25). Tomorrow, we’ll gain 22 seconds compared to today. The sun is highest in the sky at 12:43 pm and at that time, the sun is only 23.8° above the southern horizon.
This is a pic. after sunset at S. Haven from the same camera about 20 minutes after the first picture. You can see the long, skinny cloud on the right has moved closer to the camera.
Despite the clouds today, we’ll be back into the low-mid 50s this afternoon. The record high temp. for G.R. today is 53° (it’s the lowest record high temp. in the month of December) and we really do have a chance of beating that. We cool off about 10 degrees on Friday, but still well above average…then back to the 50s early Sunday. It rains Saturday night…maybe 1/2 to 1″ – a good soaker. As the cold air comes in…rain changes to snow late Sunday night and we could pick up an inch or two of snow Monday and Tuesday. The system after that around Jan. 3 also looks like a rain changing to snow event.
Here’s national snow cover Christmas morning. 28.1% of the U.S. had snow on the ground.