This map shows high temperatures Thursday across the U.S. Grand Rapids set a record daily high temperature with a high of 61°. That was 8° warmer than the previous daily record high of 53° set in 2016. The 53° had been the lowest record high temperature for any date in December. Grand Rapids has had a high temperature of 60° or better at least 38 times. The warmest December day ever was 69° on Dec. 5, 2001.
Grand Rapids was 15° warmer than Las Vegas NV Thurs. PM., and 8° warmer than Death Valley CA (53°) and 4° warmer than Yuma AZ. Twenty-Nine Palms CA had a high temp. of just 41° with 1.35″ of rain. Las Vegas, like much of the U.S., has had a relatively wet year. Still, Grand Rapids MI had more rain in October (2019) than Las Vegas has all year.
Lansing also set a daily record high of 59°, beating the old record of 55° in 2016. Muskegon’s (airport) high of 54° missed their record high of 58° set in 1936. Kalamazoo’s high of 61° was 4° shy of their record high of 65° set in 1982.
Other area high temps: 63° Benton Harbor, 62° S. Haven (airport), 61° Mt. Pleasant, Sturgis and Three Rivers, 60° Jackson, Marshall, Ionia, Alma, Coldwater, 59° Holland (airport), Battle Creek, 58° Big Rapids, Charlotte, Fremont, Hillsdale, 54° Cadillac, 53° Ludington (airport), 51° S. Haven Beach, 42° Muskegon Beach (afternoon high temp.) – also fog at the Muskegon Beach for a little while.
The pic. above shows a fair number of people walking up and down the breakwater Thursday PM. Again note the darker, sediment-filled water coming down the (Black River) channel compared to the lighter-colored water of Lake Michigan.
The above pic. shows a boat in the Muskegon Channel Thursday morning.
This was the S. Haven Beach with a kite surfer enjoying the relatively mild temperatures Thursday.
The soil temperature is 39°. When the dewpoint is higher than the ground temperature, you can get condensation on the pavement/ground and the pavement can look wet (because it is). You especially have to watch for this when the ground temperature is below freezing. It doesn’t happen often, but on rare occasion, this condensation can make the roads slick (black ice).
It was a different story to the north. The pic. above is the Alpena shore, where there is ice. Fog formed as the relatively warm and moist air came over the snow and ice.
The pic. above was the Mackinac Bridge Thu., shortly afte noon. The bridge is lost in the fog – the 2nd day with thick fog here.
The high temperature was 61° at the Chicago water intake. A brisk southwest wind meant the air didn’t have to spend much time over the cooler water traveling the 3 miles out to the intake.
While we have been REALLY warm (for late Dec.), it’s been REALLY cold in Alaska. Look at Bettles, AK with a high temp. of -49°F and a low temp. of -54°. I continue to track the cold across Alaska and NW Canada for signs that it may start moving south toward the contiguous U.S. For now, it’s staying put up north. UPDATE – Bettles dipped to a record tying -55° shortly before midnight.