Climatological Report (Monthly)
Issued by NWS Grand Rapids, MI

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CXUS53 KGRR 020213
CLMGRR

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND RAPIDS, MI
132 PM EST FRI JAN 1 2016

...................................

...THE GRAND RAPIDS MI CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2015...

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1892 TO 2015

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART  LAST YEAR`S
                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
                                          NORMAL
................................................................
TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
 HIGH              69   12/05/2001
 LOW              -18   12/19/1983
HIGHEST            61   12/13        53       8       51  12/23
LOWEST             21   12/20         1      20       13  12/02
AVG. MAXIMUM     45.2              34.8    10.4     37.3
AVG. MINIMUM     33.1              23.5     9.6     26.5
MEAN             39.1              29.2     9.9     31.9
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MAX <= 32      3              11.7    -8.7        6
DAYS MIN <= 32     15              25.0   -10.0       23
DAYS MIN <= 0       0               0.7    -0.7        0

PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
RECORD
 MAXIMUM         6.95   1893
 MINIMUM         0.31   1913
TOTALS           3.33              2.50    0.83     1.57
DAILY AVG.       0.11              0.08    0.03     0.05
DAYS >= .01        16              16.0     0.0       12
DAYS >= .10         5               6.9    -1.9        4
DAYS >= .50         2               1.1     0.9        1
DAYS >= 1.00        0               0.3    -0.3        0
GREATEST
 24 HR. TOTAL    0.90   12/28 TO 12/28           12/24 TO 12/24
                                                          12/23 TO 12/24
                                                          12/24 TO 12/24

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
RECORDS
 TOTAL           59.2   2000
 24 HR TOTAL     15.1   12/10/1970 TO 12/11/1970
 SNOW DEPTH        22   12/27/1951
                        12/26/1951
                        12/25/1951
TOTALS            2.5              21.9   -19.4      1.0
SINCE 7/1         6.0              29.2   -23.2     32.0
SNOWDEPTH AVG.      0                 3      -3        0
DAYS >= TRACE       8              13.3    -5.3       17
DAYS >= 1.0         1               6.6    -5.6        0
GREATEST
 SNOW DEPTH         2   12/31                         -1  MM
 24 HR TOTAL      1.6   12/28 TO 12/28           12/31 TO 12/31

DEGREE_DAYS
HEATING TOTAL     797              1111    -314     1019
 SINCE 7/1       1855              2449    -594     2515
COOLING TOTAL       0                 0       0        0
 SINCE 1/1        642               699     -57      611

FREEZE DATES
RECORD
 EARLIEST     09/03/1946
 LATEST       06/04/1945
EARLIEST                        10/13
LATEST                          05/02
.....................................................

WIND (MPH)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED              11.5
RESULTANT WIND SPEED/DIRECTION   5/216
HIGHEST WIND SPEED/DIRECTION    45/230    DATE  12/24
HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    66/280    DATE  12/24

SKY COVER
POSSIBLE SUNSHINE (PERCENT)   16
AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.80
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR            1
NUMBER OF DAYS PC              9
NUMBER OF DAYS CLOUDY         21

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     80

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
THUNDERSTORM              1     MIXED PRECIP               1
HEAVY RAIN                2     RAIN                       6
LIGHT RAIN               16     FREEZING RAIN              0
LT FREEZING RAIN          3     HAIL                       0
HEAVY SNOW                2     SNOW                       3
LIGHT SNOW                7     SLEET                      1
FOG                      25     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE      8
HAZE                      5

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.

&&

DECEMBER 2015 WAS A RECORD-BREAKING MONTH FOR SOUTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN. AVERAGE
TEMPERATURES FOR THE MONTH SURPASSED PREVIOUS RECORDS BY A WIDE MARGIN AT EACH
LONG-TERM CLIMATE SITE... REACHING ABOUT 10 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. PRECIPITATION
TOTALED ABOVE NORMAL WHILE SNOWFALL LAGGED WELL BELOW NORMAL.

AN ANOMALOUSLY WARM PATTERN OVER THE EASTERN HALF OF THE UNITED STATES WAS
FIRMLY ESTABLISHED FOR MOST OF THE MONTH. ONLY A COUPLE INTRUSIONS OF COLD AIR
MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH MICHIGAN AND KNOCKED TEMPERATURES DOWN TO NEAR NORMAL.
THE MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE EXCEEDED RECORDS BY MORE THAN 2 DEGREES. THE
PREVIOUS RECORD WARM DECEMBERS WERE 1923 AT GRAND RAPIDS AND MUSKEGON... AND
1889 AT LANSING. THE 19TH WAS THE ONLY DAY OF THE MONTH IN WHICH THE HIGH AND
LOW TEMPERATURES AVERAGED OUT TO BELOW NORMAL. RECORD DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURES
WERE SET ON DECEMBER 13TH... 14TH... 23RD... AND 24TH. FOR EACH OF THE THREE
LONG-TERM CLIMATE SITES... AT LEAST 10 DAYS OF THE MONTH FEATURED LOW
TEMPERATURES ABOVE THE NORMAL HIGH TEMPERATURES. ONLY 1 TO 4 DAYS AT EACH SITE
HAD DAILY LOW TEMPERATURES SETTLING AT OR BELOW NORMAL LOWS.

DECEMBER DID NOT SPARE LOWER MICHIGAN OF ANY SEASON. THE SPRING-LIKE
TEMPERATURES ON DECEMBER 13TH WERE PRECEDED BY SHOWERS AND A FEW THUNDERSTORMS.
GRAND RAPIDS... MUSKEGON AND HOLLAND EACH RECORDED THUNDERSTORMS IN THEIR
MORNING OBSERVATIONS WITH LOCALIZED MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL.

A QUICK BITE OF WINTER WAS SANDWICHED BETWEEN WARM SPELLS. ON DECEMBER 18TH...
MUCH COOLER AIR SUPPORTED LAKE EFFECT SNOW. MANY LOCATIONS DID NOT EXCEED A FEW
INCHES... BUT FEW PLACES WERE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE. THREE SPECIFIC AREAS
ENDURED LOCALIZED HEAVY SNOWFALL. THE FIRST WAS NOT EVEN THE HEAVIEST OF THE
THREE... BUT PROVED COSTLY TO LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING COMMUTERS. THE LACK OF
SNOW FOR THE SEASON AND FRIDAY AFTERNOON TIMING MAY HAVE BEEN FACTORS. A QUICK
BURST ONE TO THREE INCH SNOWFALL WAS THE CAUSE OF A LARGE PILE UP ON SOUTH
BOUND U.S. 131... BETWEEN ROCKFORD AND CEDAR SPRINGS. A SECOND... MORE
LOCALIZED BURST OF SNOW FELL JUST SOUTH OF GAINES TWP... AND SOUTHEAST TOWARD
HASTINGS WITH A FEW INCHES OF SNOW. THE THIRD AND MOST DOMINANT BAND OF SNOW
SET UP LATER IN THE EVENING. A NARROW RIBBON OF HEAVY SNOWFALL AFFECTED
SOUTHERN VAN BUREN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTIES. SOME SNOWFALL TOTALS WERE NEAR A
FOOT IN EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN VAN BUREN COUNTY AND EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN
KALAMAZOO COUNTY.

MUCH WARMER TEMPERATURES RETURNED TO LOWER MICHIGAN BY DECEMBER 20TH. YET
ANOTHER STRONG STORM SYSTEM CUT NORTHEAST THROUGH THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES AND
INTO THE GREAT LAKES REGION ON DECEMBER 23RD AND STRETCHING INTO THE 24TH. WARM
AIR SURGED NORTHWARD AHEAD OF THE SYSTEM WHICH RESULTED IN RECORD HIGHS AND
SEVERE WEATHER THROUGH THE MIDWEST. DESPITE SEVERE WEATHER REMAINING WELL TO
THE SOUTH OF LOWER MICHIGAN... THE STATE WAS NOT SPARED OF WIND DAMAGE. TENS OF
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE LOST POWER AS HIGH WINDS FUNNELED IN BEHIND THE STORM
SYSTEM ON THE 24TH. MANY LOCATIONS RECORDED GUSTS ABOVE 50 MPH WITH FEW
LOCATIONS APPROACHING OR EXCEEDING 70 MPH.POWER OUTAGES LASTED SEVERAL DAYS AND
SOME RESIDENTS NEVER HAD POWER RESTORED THROUGH THE CHRISTMAS WEEKEND.

MILD AND QUIET WEATHER SURROUNDED THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY WITH NO SNOW IN SIGHT.
QUIET CONDITIONS DID NOT LAST AS ANOTHER POWERFUL SYSTEM TRAVELED THROUGH THE
GREAT LAKES ON DECEMBER 28TH. THIS TIME IT STARTED AS A BRIEF PERIOD OF SNOW...
BEFORE TRANSITIONING TO MOSTLY SLEET. FREEZING RAIN MIXED IN NEAR THE I-94
CORRIDOR DURING THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON. FURTHER NORTH... FREEZING
RAIN WAS HARDER TO COME BY. WINTRY PRECIPITATION WAS ACCOMPANIED BY GUSTY WINDS
OF 40-50 MPH... WHICH LED TO ADDITIONAL POWER OUTAGES FOR THOUSANDS OF
RESIDENTS. SLEET TOTALS THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE AREA RANGED FROM ONE TO THREE
INCHES. DAILY PRECIPITATION RECORDS (LIQUID EQUIVELANT) WERE BROKEN ON THE 28TH
AT ALL THREE LONG-TERM CLIMATE SITES.

THE MONTH THEN FINISHED ON A RATHER TAME NOTE. NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES SETTLED
IN FOR THE 30TH AND 31ST WITH LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS. ONLY MINOR
ACCUMULATIONS WERE OBSERVED.

$$

CAS/JAM/63



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