Tri-Cities enjoy warmth

Record-breaking high temperatures could be the norm this week, several days left before the official end of winter. "It's going to stay way above normal into next week,' said Joe Kopecek, meteorologist for WZZM-TV. "It's going to be 20-30 degrees above average for the next 4-5 days.
Becky Vargo
Mar 15, 2012

Kaitlyn Lemon of Ferrysburg and Lisa Paulus of Norton Shores were taking advantage of the warmer weather on Wednesday to get a headstart on some landscaping cleanup at the business where they work.

“We just decided yesterday that today we were going to garden instead of sitting in the office,” Lemon said.

Lemon and Paulus are co-managers of Lemon Creek Winery, 327 N. Beacon Blvd. The business is owned by Lemon’s parents.

“Another reason we’re doing this is we’re having a big Earth Day event in April,” Paulus said. “We want it to look good by then.”

The women said they were cleaning up a lot of cigarette butts from the landscape area around the parking lot. They were hoping someone would have some early pansies for sale that they could put in flower boxes by the door.

Kopecek said it was very unusual for a warm period to extend this long.

“Normally you’ll get a couple of warm days, a front will come though and drop it back down to normal,” he said. “The only thing that can knock that down are some storms.”

Kopecek said Wednesday there was only a slight chance of that happening over the next 24 hours.

Wednesday’s record high of 71 for Muskegon, set in 1992, was eclipsed by a few degrees along the Lakeshore. The normal high for March 14 is 42 degrees, and it was 43 last year.

The all-time record high for March in Muskegon is 80 degrees, Kopecek said. That was set on March 31, 1981.

The record high for Muskegon on March 15 was 72 degrees, set in 1990. You have to go back to 1945 for the record high temperature on March 16 — that was 70 degrees, the WZZM-TV meteorologist said.

Even with the higher temperatures, we have still experienced normal precipitation along the Lakeshore, Kopecek said. There was just more rain than snow.

Water levels remain higher at this time than last year, he added.

While temperatures remain high, there is still a chance it could snow in April.

“I don’t really see that happening,” Kopecek said. “I see us going back closer to average in early April.”

A hazardous weather outlook for fire danger was posted for Ottawa County on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. This was due to increasing winds and temperatures combined with low humidity.

Kopecek said the current weather is normal — for a month down the road. It’s just happening now because there isn’t any snow and the grass hasn’t yet greened up, he said.

Scattered thunderstorms are possible today, Saturday and Sunday. Highs are expected to remain in the upper 60s for the next several days along the Lakeshore.

And for those looking forward to a day at the beach, the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network is reporting Lake Michigan water temperatures in the area of 42-45 degrees near Grand Haven. This information can be found on the Coastwatch website at www.coastwatch.msu.edu/michigan/...

Facebook comments from Wednesday:

“It’s too nice a day. I propose we close up Grand Haven and all go for a walk.” — Michael Ver Duin

Sign from a health and wellness shop shared by Sandy Parker and Roger Jonas: “It’s spring. We are so excited we wet our plants.”

“Shaved my beard off because it’s sunny and 74 degrees outside, then sunbathing before class.” — Bryan Celano

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