Grand Rapids (WZZM) -
The weather during the month of December was much warmer than usual and a little wetter and cloudier than average, but the lack of snowfall was the biggest weather story of the month. The year 2012 ended up warmer, sunnier and drier than usual with lower-than-average snowfall.
Temperatures during December averaged 35.1°F, 5.9°F above average, tying for the fifth warmest on record, and it was 0.1°F warmer than last year (35.0°F). Twenty-four days were warmer than usual, three days were cooler, and four were considered average. The highest temperature occurred on December 3 and 4 with 65°F while the lowest temperature occurred on December 25 with 17°F. The year 2012 averaged 52.9°F, 3.8°F above average, making it the warmest year on record after 1921 (52.3°F), and it was 3.0° warmer than last year (49.9°F).
Precipitation was a little above average last month measuring 2.85", 0.35" more than usual and 0.26" more than last year (2.59"). There were seventeen days with measurable precipitation, which is one day more than usual (16). 2012 precipitation was well below average with 33.85", 4.42" less than usual and 11.24" less than last year (45.09").
Snowfall totaled 7.2" for December, 14.7" less than usual but 2.7" more than last year (4.5"). Snowfall for the 2011-12 season was much lower than usual with 51.2", 23.7" below average and 22.8" less than the 2010-11 season (74.0").
There was 17.6% of the possible sunshine last month, 1.8% less than usual and 7.1% less than last year (24.7%). There were no clear days - two less than average (2), fourteen partly cloudy days - ten more than usual (4), and seventeen cloudy days - eight fewer than average (25). Sunshine in 2012 amounted to 54.8%, 7.8% more than usual, making it the sixth sunniest year on record, and 5.2% more than last year (49.6%).
No thunderstorms were recorded in December.
Daily temperature records: A high of 65°F on December 3 broke the previous record of 64°F set in 1998.
A high of 65°F on December 4 broke the previous record of 63°F set in 1941.
Daily precipitation records: 1.06" of rain on December 20 broke the previous record of 0.71" set in 1949.
Daily wind records: A peak wind from the north at 49 mph on December 21 broke the previous record of 44 mph from the west set in 1984.
Daily barometric pressure records: A barometer reading of 29.08" on December 20 broke the previous record low barometer reading of 29.21" set in 1978, tying for the fifth lowest December barometer reading.