Weird December weather brings people outside

Posted at 4:18 PM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 23:28:00-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - It isn't often that you can go rowing on the Grand River or go golfing on December 23rd in Michigan, but today was weird day.

Rockford students and graduates heading to the Grand River to practice rowing, launching at the Jupiter Street bridge in Belmont.  The team usually practices indoors starting in November using rowing machines, but with 60 degree temps, they decided to move outside.

"Even in our Spring season or Fall season you don’t get days this warm. Tim Vallier said, Rockford's head men's rowing coach. "It’s very rare you get something calm like this, the water is nice and flat, it’s almost 60 degrees, it’s just awesome."

Meanwhile, some golf courses opened to the public today. Maple Hill Golf Course in Wyoming saw several golfers out Wednesday.

"This is cool. November is about the latest I’ve ever golfed," Steve Pocernik said.

So, where is all of this warm weather coming from?

FOX 17 spoke with an expert at the National Weather Service Wednesday who says the mild weather is caused from a strong El Nino, meaning temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are well above normal, and as the weather patterns move from West to East, West Michigan gets warmer temps.

"It’s kind of a good Christmas treat that the weather is so nice," Vallier said.

The National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids says we aren't off the hook yet for winter snow.  We'll still see some snow, and winter is a bit delayed, but it will come.