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December 'heat wave' pushing temperatures toward 50° heading into Christmas

Posted at 8:04 PM, Dec 18, 2019

WEST MICHIGAN — The day before Christmas Eve, Mother Nature will have us throwing the winter jackets in the closet and taking out our spring attire.

Temperatures will climb quickly after the bitterly cold start to our Thursday. Wind chills will be hovering around zero, but the day will conclude with temperatures around freezing. As the pattern shifts to a warm eastern U.S. and a colder western U.S., West Michigan will be squarely in the mild air.

For the first day of winter this Saturday, temperatures will surge into the 40s. Not what we typically expect to see for the start of the cold season around here, but definitely not out of the ordinary. In 2018, the first day of winter had a high of 42°. This Saturday, temperatures are expected to be right around 43°.

Things will only get warmer as we push into the holiday week. Temperatures Sunday will be well into the 40s with some sunshine to help us all out of our winter funk.

Monday will likely be the warmest day of the next seven days with temperatures in a few locations hitting 50°. While there will be a little less sunshine compared to the weekend, a few peeks of sun will be around to go with the very mild temperatures.

The other side of the warmth is a very small chance of a White Christmas. A White Christmas would only happen if we have at least an inch of snow on the ground at 7 a.m. Christmas Morning. Little to no rain or snow is expected during our warmer stretch, so the snow we have outside is it for now. Temperature well above freezing for several days into Christmas means any snow not piled up in large stacks will likely be gone by the end of the weekend.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will not be as warm as the days before but will still be mild. 40s will stick around as we wrap up the holiday and head toward the end of the year.