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2013 New Year’s weather for Grand Rapids

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The New Year is upon us so I thought this would be a perfect time to take a look back at some of the averages and extremes for both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The charts in the slideshow on the top highlight some of the holiday weather averages and extremes.

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There is one notable weather event that jumped out at me. In 1985, on New Year’s Day, a severe ice storm struck southern Lower Michigan as a layer of ice up to one inch thick downed tree limbs and power lines. There were three deaths and eight injuries directly related to the ice storm. Over 430,000 electrical customers were without power, some for as long as 10 days. Total damage was estimated at nearly $50 million. This event certainly rivals the ice storm that Michigan just experienced.

More recently on New Year’s Eve 2000, the day started with a record 13 inches of snow on the ground. Just one day later on January 1, 2001, 12 inches remained, which is also a record for the greatest snow depth for the day.

Just last year on New Year’s Eve 2012, the weather was rather quiet. Temperatures warmed into the upper 30s during the late morning under a cloudy sky. Then a cold front slipped by dipping temperatures into the upper 20s as we rang in the New Year.
Behind the front on New Year’s Day temperatures hovered in the mid 20s with a few afternoon snow showers.

This year will be a very cold night if you’re out watching the ball drop in Grand Rapids. Look for a few snow showers and temperatures in the teens with wind chill readings in the single numbers. New Year’s Day won’t be any better with temperatures remaining in the teens and wind chill readings still in the single numbers with a few snow showers.

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