New Year’s Day Weather Extremes

Posted at 9:55 AM, Jan 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-01 10:27:48-05

WEST MICHIGAN — Hard to believe we’ve said goodbye to yet another year.

While the start of this year is a little chilly, yet quiet and uneventful, ever wonder what some of the warmest, coldest, wettest, and snowiest New Year’s Days were? With help and data compiled by the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, here are some of the stats.

All of the numbers are for Grand Rapids, one of the major reporting climate stations for the National Weather Service. Believe it or not, they have been keeping weather records since the 1880s:

  • Our warmest top three New Year’s Days for GR is 66 degrees in 1895, 56 in 1897, and 55 in 2011. I distinctly recall last year: I was working  FOX 17 News at 10, and our warmest temperatures occurred around or after midnight, with some light rain showers on the radar screen. I can even recall some scattered thunderstorms a bit farther south into Indiana.
  • The coldest temps for GR occurred in 1968 at 13 degrees, 1999 at 14 degrees, and 1969 at 15 degrees.
  • The wettest numbers on New Year’s Day came in 1985 with .65 inches being recorded. Second was .64 inches in 1948, and .44 inches in 1932.
  • The snowiest New Year’s Days occurred in 1995 with 5.7 inches, 1948 with 5.6 inches, and 1918 with 4.5 inches.
  • Click herefor all of the NWS extremes for West Michigan including Lansing and Muskegon.

I mentioned this in a post on New Year’s Eve, but it’s worth reiterating: There are still no big storms on the horizon for us the next several days. That means no major snowfall and no major lake-effect, either.

While a dusting to about one inch is possible Thursday as a weak low pressure area and clipper system drop into the northern Great Lakes, that’s really our best chance for seeing any more of the white stuff in the short term.

At least these colder temperatures will allow for ski areas/resorts to manufacture snow and have it remain in tact for a while. In fact, the attached photo is from the Cannonsburg webcam as of 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. They are open and they define conditions as “great.” (Click herefor the webcam at Cannonsburg.)

Make sure to bundle up. Temperatures across the lake in Wisconsin this morning were at or below zero in many locations, with a bone dry air mass and clearing skies. While that air mass will change a bit coming across Lake Michigan, I expect temps to remain steady the next few days, only in the mid 20s or so with wind chills in the teens.

Get the full West Michigan 7 day forecast, temperatures, and feels-like temperatures by going to Have a great New Year’s Day!