Grand Rapids headed toward 2nd snowiest winter everFebruary 18th, 2014 at 2:56 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
This picture from Jack Martin shows the heavy snowfall Monday afternoon. Both Grand Rapids (5.6″) and Muskegon (6.2″) set daily snowfall records yesterday (the second daily snowfall record in the last two weeks for G.R. Grand Rapids topped 100″ for the season last night. Most areas had around 5-7″ of new snow with a couple reports of 9″ and a little less toward Lansing and Jackson. As of midnight, G.R. had 100.5″, making this the 8th snowiest winter ever. Average snowfall will easily get us to 2nd place and I think we still have an outside chance to challenge the snowiest year ever in G.R. During the winter of 1951-52, we had 132″ of snow at the airport and 144″ in downtown G.R. Joe Bastardi tweeted this out last night: “The ECWMF (European model) weeklies tonight give little hope for a warm U.S. in March. As a matter of fact, they are brutal looking.” If we hang onto the cold air well into March (peak ice on the Great Lakes may not come until the 2nd week of March if the cold lasts) and hold a decent snow cover over frozen ground, the chance of a sudden warm-up and significant flood will increase. Remember, the major floods on the Grand River have come in pairs (1904. 1905 and 1947, 1948…so, 2013 and 2014?).
I looked at the two years we had the big tornadoes in the G.R. area, 1956 (Standale) and 1965 (Palm Sunday). In 1964-65 we had over 100″ of snow for the winter, including 36″ in March. That March was also the 4th coldest March ever in G.R. In 1956, March was 3.8° colder than average with over 11″ of snow. In 1956, we had a wet spring with 4.39″ of precipitation in March and 6.49″ in April.
In the meantime, model data: The NAM (caribou) gives G.R. a high of 33.3 today and 31.9 on Weds. (a little cool in my book), with a SSW wind of 19 mph during the late afternoon. That model gives G.R. a high of 41 with 0.56″ of rain (very brief freezing rain at 31° at the start) on Thursday. The rain/freezing rain starts in G.R. after the morning commute, it’s raining for the evening commute on Thurs. Everything freezes up Thurs. night. The GFS plot has 1/10th inch of snow Tues. night, then a whopping 1.32″ of mostly rain (an inch of that is snow Thurs. night). Then about 2″ of snow Friday night/Sat. am. It has very cold air over Michigan from Saturday thru the end of the month. The European gives G.R. 0.44″ of rain then about an inch of snow Fri. am…and it’s down to 5° next Monday am.
Season snowfall: 101″ G.R., 120″ Muskegon, 96″ Kalamazoo. Will update these in the late morning.