Fall 2016 was West Michigan’s second warmest on record

Posted at 6:05 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 18:12:08-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- It's been a long run of mild temperatures in West Michigan. We just closed out our second warmest fall on record in both Grand Rapids and Muskegon, with only the fall of 1931 being warmer.

Relative to the long-term average, this fall came in 4.2 degrees above average in Grand Rapids, and 5.2 degrees above average in Muskegon.

"When it comes to an entire season averaging out at four or five degrees above normal, we're talking about near record territory," said Cort Scholten, a Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.

Snowfall has also been lacking. Only 0.8" of snow has fallen so far in Grand Rapids, when normally about 7.8" of snow would have fallen by now. In Muskegon, only an inch of snow has fallen, while 6.8" is the long-term average to date.

Furthermore, 14 out of the last 15 months have been warmer than the long-term average.

Dating back to last fall, April was our only month with below average temperatures. But Scholten says we shouldn't expect a mild winter this year.

"El Nino has faded into a neutral to weak La Nina pattern," he said. "And typically when we go from a strong El Nino to a neutral or La Nina pattern, the winter in Michigan is near to below normal in terms of temperature."