Last year by Thanksgiving, mounds of snow had piled up across the state. But with this fall”s unseasonably warm, record-breaking temperatures, a snowflake has yet to fall.
The high temperature yesterday in Ann Arbor was 67 degrees, which ties the record high set in 1998 for any day in December. This temperature also beats the record high of 63 degrees for Dec. 5 also set in 1998, said meteorologist Dennis Kahlbaum, a weather observer for the University. He said yesterday”s temperature was 30 degrees above the average December high.
“The November that we just had was the highest since 1889, when records began,” said Kahlbaum.
He added that the average temperature in November was 8.1 degrees higher than the normal average.
With temperatures lingering in the 60s yesterday, students spent the afternoon sitting, sleeping and studying on the grass surrounding the Diag.
“This has been a mild autumn usually I have my snowblower operating by now,” said research associate Tom Goss.
“There”s a rose in my house that”s blooming today,” he added.
“It might have something to do with global warming. But hey, if this is what global warming is about, I”m all for it,” LSA senior Mike Shapiro quipped while strumming on a guitar.
“I hope the squirrels are enjoying this,” Goss said. “Those lazy ones that haven”t built their holes and gathered their nuts yet.”
One drawback of the unseasonably warm temperatures, local retailers said, has been slow sales of winter gear.
“Last winter all of our winter accessories were gone,” said Leslie Smith, sales manager of Eddie Bauer in Briarwood Mall.
“Considering the trend, they are moving slower this year based on the weather.”
Smith added that last year the heavy snowstorms forced the mall to temporarily close.
One business that has benefited from the weather is Lucky Dog, a hot dog vendor that operates outside year-round near the C.C. Little Building.
“We”re out here unless winter doesn”t permit us to get in here, like last January when there was really heavy snowfall,” said hot dog seller Richard Perrault.
He added that he has been enjoying the weather and that, subsequently, Lucky Dog has been fairing better with more people outside.
“When it”s cold, people don”t like to be out as much,” Perrault said.
Goss and Shapiro predicted that colder weather will soon arrive.
“Don”t be fooled by this weather,” Shapiro said. “January is going to bring out the snow shovel.”
Kahlbaum offered an explanation for the recent wave of warmth.
“An upper-air pattern has been bringing warmer-than-normal air,” Kahlbaum said. “We will have a strong cold front coming through on Saturday, so it will be getting colder.”
Temperatures are expected to be in the 30s this weekend, with a low of 26 degrees on Saturday.