December produces record warm weather

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

Many were scratching their heads throughout Christmas weekend as the thermometer produced eye-popping numbers.

According to data collected from the National Weather Service Northern Indiana office, Berrien County reached a high of 56 degrees Monday. Sunday also made it into the 50s.

Meteorologist Megan Dodson said Monday’s temperature proved the warmest Dec. 26 recorded in Berrien County.

“It was pretty toasty,” Dodson said. “These warmer temperatures have been seen before, but (they) aren’t normal this time of year.”

Monday’s temperature was part of the 17th warmest day in December for Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.

The hottest day came Dec. 3, 2012, when 66 degrees was logged in the region. That was an abnormally warm December that year, as the second warmest day hit 65 degrees later in the month.

The next warmest Dec. 26 – after this Monday – came in 2008 when area residents saw 51-degree weather.

Dodson said the record occurred because of an unusual warm front that swept through the Midwest. She said it’s not likely Michigan will get another warm front before the end of the year.

The disappearance of snow came as a result of the higher-than-normal temperatures and outpouring of rain the last two days, Dodson said.

“It’s not something we haven’t ever seen,” Dodson said. “It was a little bit cooler (Tuesday), but most areas lost all their snow depth.”

Measurements attained by NWS at the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport in Benton Harbor showed the Twin Cities received about 0.15 inches of rain Monday. On Sunday, the same area got nearly a quarter of an inch of rain.

Van Buren nearly got an inch of rain during the same time period.

Dodson said the lack of snow won’t last long for Michiganders as Thursday is expected to bring some lake effect snow to the coastal communities.

“There’s no telling if the snow will stay toward the end of the week,” Dodson said. “The northwesterly winds will bring some snow though. There’s an 80 percent chance of snow showers, which will bring 1 to 2 inches.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 28, 2016)

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