Above normal temps to stick around the next several days

Posted at 5:41 PM, Dec 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-05 17:41:55-05

WEST MICHIGAN — Waiting for some December snow? Sorry…none in the forecast over the next several days and through all of next week. While we may see a few light rain showers Wednesday morning and next week Friday and Saturday, our temperatures will actually warm in to the 50s by next weekend.

Normal highs for this time of year have us in the upper 30s, but we’re forecasting highs in the middle/upper 40s over the next several days…even 50s possible next weekend ahead of another arriving weather system and low pressure area.

If you’re wondering why the mild weather in early December, attribute it to a very well defined El Nino…warmer than normal ocean waters over the equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean. That warmer water tends to force an upper level change in our jet stream (fast-moving upper level winds) that keeps the Great Lakes a bit warmer and drier.

While I would expect a milder winter with less than average snowfall of 75″-77″, that doesn’t mean Arctic outbreaks and snow storms aren’t possible. They are! But on average, a moderate El Nino generally means a not-so-brutal winter with a little less snow.

The image attached to this story is from one of our computer forecast models and is valid for next Thursday morning. The colors represent the air masses about five thousand feet above the surface. Note the warmer tones of green and yellow moving toward Michigan, as opposed to the cooler colors of aqua and blue dominating our region. No Arctic outbreaks likely any time soon!

Get the complete West Michigan forecast at