Morning Show Insider: No White Christmas

Local 4 News Today Morning Team
Local 4 News Today Morning Team

DETROIT – Brandon Roux: The last time I guaranteed NO White Christmas was 1999 at KIVI-TV in Boise, Idaho. This was my first TV job and certainly the first time I had ever done weather forecasting on air. I remember this night so clearly… December 24, 1999 and I was filling in on the desk doing weather for The Treasure Valley. Believe it or not, Boise is in a valley near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the weather is usually quite warm and dry, almost desert-like most of the year. Yes, there are storms that roll through SW Idaho but the mountains soak up most of the moisture.

Anyway, I was on the air at 10pm that Christmas Eve 20 years ago, and I told our faithful viewers there was no chance of a White Christmas. The maps showed no weather patterns of note, radar was bone dry, and high pressure in control which meant stable weather, right? Well, not so much. It was in Boise, Idaho in 1999 that I learned about inversions. After our newscast was over, I got in my car to head home and all of a sudden it started to snow to beat the band and went on and on for several hours leaving a good inch or more on the ground by Christmas morning making it officially a White Christmas. Ugh! It’s often a weatherman’s dilemma of accuracy vs. what the viewers want. If we’re forecasting severe weather, there’s great validation in nailing your forecast but we hope and pray that nobody gets hurt or has a traumatic experience at the expense of our forecast. Of course, we are only the messengers giving you the information we’ve studied and analyzed. We don’t make the weather.

So, I was the only person in The Treasure Valley that Christmas who was ticked off that there was snow on the ground, only because it’s absolute proof that I was dead wrong. Why? Inversions are very challenging even for meteorologists in mountainous areas. Basically, high pressure forces the cool air up in the sky toward the surface while the warmer air is inverted into the higher elevations. This usually means that cool air and cloud cover will be trapped near the surface for an undisclosed amount of time, and if there’s a spark of moisture in those clouds you’ll get precipitation. Here in Michigan, an inversion can bring low clouds, fog, and flurries, but in different terrain and climates, it can really play tricks on you. It was a great lesson learned for a young weatherman trying to make it in the business. The jury is still out on that one! 20 years later, we are all but ready to guarantee NO White Christmas for Metro Detroit but we’ll be watching the weather very closely for you this week on Local 4 News Today.

Here’s what we’re working on for Monday, December 23rd on Local 4 News Today --

All Morning – Holiday Weather

Paul Gross: We are entering a remarkable (for this time of year) weather pattern of quiet weather that will stick around through Christmas. That’s great news for last minute shoppers, and travelers around our region, but not so great if you want a White Christmas, as Brandon mentioned.

  • Get the full forecast here

All Morning – Holiday Traffic

If you plan to hit the road to do some last-minute shopping, we’ve got you covered. Our Kim DeGiulio will help us get around any projects and also be keeping an eye on any other possible problems.

  • Check traffic conditions in your neighborhood here

All Morning – Holiday Events

Kids off school? Getting a little time away from work? Looking for something to do? We’ve got you covered. All week, we’ll have a rundown of events happening around Metro Detroit for the holiday season.

6:10 a.m. - Money Monday

Are you using a lot of plastic to do your holiday spending? How will you deal with all that holiday debt? Our business editor Rod Meloni is here to help with budgeting ideas help you start fresh for 2020.


Today’s Trivia Retake

Every weekday morning at 6 a.m., we ask you a trivia question on Local 4 for a chance to win a prize.

  • Friday Question: Name the Detroit-born version of the Green Lantern superhero.
  • Answer: John Stewart
  • Be sure to watch daily at 6 a.m. and click this link to enter for a chance to win.

National Days: December 23rd

  • National Pfeffernusse Day
  • National Roots Day
  • Festivus
  • Forefathers Day
  • Chanukah Begins

History Highlights: December 23rd

  • In 1783, George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retired to his home at Mount Vernon, Va.
  • In 1913, the Federal Reserve System was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act.
  • In 1941, during World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
  • In 1954, the first successful human kidney transplant took place at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston as a surgical team removed a kidney from 23-year-old Ronald Herrick and implanted it in Herrick’s twin brother, Richard.
  • In 1986, the experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, completed the first non-stop, non-refueled round-the-world flight as it returned safely to Edwards Air Force Base in California.
  • In 1997, a federal jury in Denver convicted Terry Nichols of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, declining to find him guilty of murder. (Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)
  • In 2003, the government announced the first suspected (later confirmed) case of mad cow disease in United States, in Washington state.

Celebrity Birthdays: December 23rd

Celebrating a birthday Monday? Submit a Sunshine Award here and we could say your name on Local 4 News Today during our 6 a.m. show.

Here’s who you’re sharing a birthday with –

  • Actor Ronnie Schell is 88.
  • Actor Frederic Forrest is 83.
  • Actor-comedian Harry Shearer is 76.
  • Actress Susan Lucci is 73.
  • Singer-musician Adrian Belew is 70.
  • Rock musician Dave Murray (Iron Maiden) is 63.
  • Rock singer Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) is 55.
  • Jazz musician Irvin Mayfield is 42.
  • Actor Spencer Daniels is 27.
  • Actor Caleb Foote is 26.

Local 4 News Today links

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