Yes, winter really arrives this week

Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-20 19:36:55-05

WEST MICHIGAN — With all of the rain and mild temperatures we’ve had the last several weeks, it’s hard to fathom that winter officially arrives Monday at 11:48 PM eastern standard time. That’s the precise time the sun is absolutely as far away from the northern hemisphere as possible…it also marks the start of the summer for the southern hemisphere. We call it the winter solstice and it’s one of the shortest days of the year. The good news? Our daylight will gradually increase from here on out!

As it stands December has been way above normal as far as temperatures are concerned. We also have the possibility of December 2015 going down in the books as one of the least snowiest ever on record. That won’t be official until the end of the month!

While we’ve only had one real bout of lake-effect snow last week Friday with numerous accidents reported (including a 50 car pile-up on U.S. 131), for the most part we’ve experienced very little winter weather. Our temperatures on Monday this week with rain will likely reach the upper 40s to near 50. Not good enough? How about upper 50s to near 60 degrees briefly on Wednesday as another storm system approaches with more wind and just plain Jane rain. It is possible we see a few rain and/or snow showers Christmas Eve on Thursday morning once the colder air filters in behind that system, but any appreciable accumulation at this time looks unlikely. I’ll still maintain my “GREEN CHRISTMAS” stance. At least holiday travel for folks around the Great Lakes will generally be uneventful.

The image attached to this story is from our computer forecast model and is valid by Tuesday night at 10:00 PM. We can already see the next weather system to our west impacting the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Again…Michigan is on the front or warm side of this system system which means liquid precipitation and well above normal temperatures..and yes this pattern can be attributed to the strong El Nino we have in place!

Make sure to get the complete West Michigan forecast at Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and safe and Happy New Year! Pleasant, peaceful holidays.