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December Weather Report


On December 27th I recorded the following weather thoughts, “December 27th: ‘Twas the time of the 3 month winter. For it didn’t come until December and was gone by April for baseball season. Even preceded by spring training.”

At that point December had seen the first 23 days post above normal temperatures and the day it was written would only be slightly below normal.

The final calendar page of 2001 in December was the 5th warmest December ever in Muskegon. Average temperature was 34.8 which is 6.3 above the normal.

A record high was set on the 5th as a temperature of 63 was measured. On the 17th the high was 45 also a daily record. Low temp for the month was 18 recorded the 30th and 31st after the warm spell had ended.

The 5th was a specially interesting day for a Michigan December. I noted, “weather of special interest. At 0722 it’s 57 looking to go up another 10. Combined with overcast and a wind that generates a roar from the big lake.”

The warmth served to keep the typical December snow load away. Only 12.5 inches fell, making it 12.4 inches short of the norm.

This makes the last month of 2001 almost the direct opposite of 2000 when temperatures were 3 degrees below norm and snow was well above normal including 10.8 inches in one day.

Muskegon received 1.42 inches of rain in December. This was 1.61 inches below the average.

On another form of water the news is that the lake level has climbed 3/4 of a foot or 9 inches in the past year. Even so it is still 14 inches below the norm for January.

The average wind speed was 11.0 knots .7 above the norm. Windiest day was the 5th with an average speed of 22.7. Minimum wind day was the 21st with an average of 4.5 knots.

For the first 23 days of above norm days South winds predominated with 11 occasions. The final days of the month were all below norm with 6 west winds during that time. Perhaps a difference in the south winds bring weather that’s warm and west winds blow cold systems from Canada and the Dakota plains.

For the year Muskegon had temperatures that were + 1.9 above normal. Warmest months were November @ + 6.6, December +6.3 and January + 4.8. Coolest months were September -2.2, July -1.2 and June -.9. Essentially we were spared some wintry conditions and denied some warmer summer weather.

Looking to January the historic average is 23.3 degrees. Single day readings have ranged from 78 to -21. Warmest January was 34.8 in 1932, coolest 11.3 in 1912. Average snow is 38.4 inches. The all time snowiest month occurred in January 1982 when 102.4 (8 feet 6 inches) inches fell.

In closing here’s how January started: 01/02/02 barometer up to 1029, no wind. Under 9 temperatures crystally snow sparkles.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2002 at 1:51 pm and is filed under Weather. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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