We’ve hit the mid-point of winter (temperature-wise). The average high/low temperature for Grand Rapids is now 30°/`18° and that’s as low as it gets. From now on, those average temperatures will go up – very slowly at first, though. The average high temperature reaches the mid-upper 30s by the end of February and the low 50s by the end of March.

The second half of winter is the brighter half of winter with the days getting longer and the amount of sunshine we get during the day increasing. Today (Sunday 1/22) we get 9 hours and 36 minutes of daylight, a gain of 35 minutes since the Winter Solstice back on Dec. 21. By the end of February, we’re back up to 11 hours and 10 minutes of daylight with the sunrise at 7:20 am and sunset at 6:30 pm. Then by the end of March, we’re getting 12 hours and 41 minutes of daylight with the sunrise at 7:20 am and the sunset at 8:07 pm (with the time change).

January dandelion – Comstock Park

So far, this January is averaging 9.4° warmer than average. Last year, January was 4.6° colder than average – so this January is a whopping 14° warmer than last January. Through the first 3 weeks of January, we haven’t had a single day that stayed below freezing. The average temperature for the month is 34.6°, so you can see why we have little or no ice on area lakes. The Great Lakes are at a record low ice extent for January 21. We haven’t had a low temperature colder than 18°. We have not had a single day cooler than average since Dec. 27.

What a crazy winter for snow….it’s either a significant storm or (next to) nothing. From Nov. 13-Dec. 2 (44 days), Grand Rapids had 67.6″ of snow. In the last 26 days, we’ve had just 0.7″ of snow. Despite the warm pattern and the fact that the natural snow has melted, there are still huge piles (some over my head) at bigger parking lots like the malls. The most snow on the ground in G.R. was 17″ on Christmas Day.

And…where’s the sunshine? We had just 12% of possible sunshine in December and we’re at 11.3% sun for January. I’m taking my Vitamin D. Since Nov. 29, thirty out of 53 days have been totally overcast and we’ve had only 2 days in that stretch with more than 60% sun.

So far this month, the peak wind gust in Grand Rapids has been 40 mph on the 19th. Precipitation has totaled 1.52″, which is a touch below average.

Happy Sunday – Thanks for reading my blog.