March 2012 vs. 2014

April 1st, 2014 at 2:06 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

March 2012 vs 2014  muskegon glerlalpena glerl march 30 2014toledo glerlClick on the images to enlarge.  The picture on the left is a satellite view in late March 2012.  The image on the right of that is a satellite image from Sunday (3/30/14).  Wow!  What a difference!   In late March 2012, there is no snow, except for one very tiny area in the Keewenaw Peninsula.  The only ice on the Great Lakes is in a couple bays in northern Lake Superior.  In the picture on the right, you can see the snow cover across N. Wisconsin and much of Michigan and you can see the extensive ice cover on Lake Superior and Lake Huron and still a significant amount of ice in Lake Michigan (see Green Bay and up by the Mac. Bridge.).  Check out the pictures from the GLERL cameras at Muskegon,  Alpena and on the right, Toledo.

March 2012 was warmer than an average April and preliminary data shows that March 2014 was colder than an average February!  It looks like (again preliminary data) March of 2014 was 9 degrees colder than average (despite the 63° on the 31st) and a whopping 24.1° colder than March 2012.  The warmest low temperature of March 2014 was 36°.  March 2012 had 17 days with low temperatures warmer than 36°.  March 2014 had only one day warmer than 51°.  March 2012 had 21 days with high temperatures warmer than 51°, including an all-time record 87 on March 21, which was 40° warmer than the average high (the highest departure from average of any day in G.R. history).   In March 2012, we had only 7 days with temperatures cooler than average.  In March 2014, we had only 5 days that were warmer than average.   In March 2012, the coolest temperature all month was 19°.  In March 2014, we had 16 days that were colder than 19°.   We also had 15 days (half the days of the month!) that were 15° or more colder than average.    For Jan. 1 to Mar. 31, Grand Rapids is 8.1° colder than average!  That’ll sure be hard to make up.  The good news was that March was a dry month, with 1.54″ of precipitation (65% of average) and 6.4″ of snow.   We’ve managed to melt off virtually all of the heavy snow pack with only insignificant flooding.  We did set a record for most snow on the ground ever in any March at 18″.

85 Responses to “March 2012 vs. 2014”

  1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    Two years ago we were camping in March. And didn’t we get a damaging freeze that killed a lot of the fruit trees in late April?

    1. suehelen says:

      Yes we did. Michigan fruit was hard to come by that year. It all but wiped out the apple crop.

  2. Dan (Byron Center) says:

    For it being mentioned as a non event, seems that the NWS is a bit concerned about freezing rain Wednesday night and again on Friday night. A matter of a degree or two will make a huge difference. Hoping for rain only.

  3. Resourceful Nana says:

    The snow is gone in my yard (St. Joseph County). The “white” on my grass is pea gravel that was deposited there when the driveway was plowed. I thought I would hear frogs yesterday with the temps near 70 and vernal ponds with open water. I didn’t hear any yesterday afternoon/evening, but since the rain went through early this AM, I can finally hear a couple of wood frogs. Finally!

  4. Wswplz says:

    Going to be a fairly active week as there will be more than a few things to keep an eye on. First of all it’s near certain we will be seeing rain off and on through out this week. The two systems that will be moving through our cwa during the week with the Friday storm looking to be the strongest out of the two , although the Thursday morning system could produce some freeza also ( .10 > ) if current thinking remains. These two disturbances that will be tracking through won’t be heavy on QPF however the icing possibility is always something that can create challenges. The system that has caught my attention however would be the possible storm on Monday , although the models can’t agree on much at this particular time. This event would be similar to our Friday storm but with a more southern track which would put southern lower Mi in the bullseye for a significant snow storm. This is definitely something to keep one eye on if the models can gain some continuity.

    1. Wswplz says:

      *.the models seem to be more in agreement , I’m thinking it’s becoming more a question to who sees the freezing rain and less of if it will happen. It is possible some could see up too .25″ depending on where this low tracks. Here is a map showing who might be impacted by this from the WPC.

      1. Wswplz says:

        The SVR weather is starting to ramp up with the systems I have been posting about throughout the week, as they are edging ever so close to our area. There is also the possibility of more severe weather to come as they already have the day5 outlook with a better than 30% chance at this early juncture.

        4-8 day Summary :

        1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

          It’s getting closer…stay tune.

      2. suehelen says:

        I must be reading it wrong. I don’t see any probability for freezing rain.

        1. GunLakeDeb says:

          That map have updated since Wswplz posted it? Which is good – it means they’re downgrading it. Freezing rain is something that we usually ALL agree that we don’t want ;-)

      3. suehelen says:

        It says- The probability of receiving at least .25 inch of freezing rain is less than 10 percent.

        1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

          I hope so.

  5. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

    I rather have a snow storm than a ice storm, it’s going to be a close call.

    1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

      NWS is confident it will be mostly rain for Friday night if you take the time to read it yourself and only a tenth of an inch for Wednesday night.

      Ignore the doom and gloom people on this blog that only post the worst scenarios when the ‘authorized sources’ are confident that it will not be that bad.

      1. INDY says:

        Don’t melt!! INDYY!!

      2. michael g (se GR) says:

        Hear that Wswplz? You are an “unauthorized source”. Sounds Orwellian.

        1. Wswplz says:

          I guess I would have to agree as I don’t have any certifications, maybe Tomkap could give me some pointers as to how to always forecast spring weather as I believe those forecast are the only ” credible ” outlooks according to sir Tonkap. Lol

      3. yooper4021 says:

        Watched all three local mets this morning, and all made mention of the possibility of freezing drizzle Thursday morning, depending on the setup of a stationary front just south of us. WZZM was most bullish on this – mentioned possibility of .1-.2 inches of ice.

    2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      This time of the year, slight movement in a weather pattern can make a big diffence. We have to wait and see what will happen.

  6. Barry in Zeeland says:

    Nice comparison of the two years Bill! Crazy the two extremes we’ve had this close together.

  7. Dan (Byron Center) says:

    I don’t think it would even get mentioned if there wasn’t a concern here TomKap. I take it you are an authorized source? No doom and gloom here! No I’m not a snow clown and or demon.. Lets check your credibility and realibility with forecasts, shall we?

  8. INDY says:

    More below normal temps coming wow who would of thought in April!! Sprite it up!! INDYY!!!

  9. jake says:

    Despite the cold march we managed to melt the vast majority of the snow. Can you imagine what would of happened if we had a normal march, all the snow would be gone

  10. shelbyville says:

    As of now it looks like rain changing to a little mix/snow Friday night into Saturday morning. But, a slight shift south could make things interesting…

  11. INDY says:

    Thunderstorm season has been cancelled due to below normal temps in March April and May all of spring!! Stay tuned!! Drink more sprites and feel right today!! INDYY!!!

    1. H&L says:

      Thanks for the excessive !!!!!!! Troll

    2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      I think we will see couple of severe storms this month.

  12. Lots of birds chirping out there early this morning. Temperatures are a comfterable 50 degrees right now. Looks like we cool down at the end of the week. The severe weather is creeping closer to Michigan though, as the Slight Risk Area is up to north Central Indiana. At least that is a sign of things to come as we move further into spring. Looks cool through at least April 10th, but I am sure after about April 15 we will keep temperatures no colder than 45 degrees, with many days in the upper 40′s to lower 50′s. At least that is better than the 30′s (These 30′s should be our last ones until next winter IMHO).

    1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      According to SPC, some thunderstorms may creep into Michigan. But I have not heard that in any local forecasts yet.

  13. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Another mild day over here close to 60 degrees. Should be the warmest April 1st since 2010.

    Accuweather and WeatherTrends both giving me close to 70 degrees mid April.

    Now we just need some thunderstorms!

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Acculess just moved the one 60° day in all of April. I wonder what it will do tomorrow.

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Color yourself lucky. We’re pretty much at our high for the day at 50 and temps will drop throughout the day and become really windy. Oh well, at least I hit 60 yesterday for the first time in over five months.

    3. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Detroit was +1° and Flint +4° above average yesterday, I demand more! :) It was nice.

  14. aaron says:

    I sure hope we have a normal summer and this isn’t going to be the pattern all season. After yesterday im ready for heat!

  15. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Flint recorded the 2nd coldest March ever. #11 in Detroit and #5 in Saginaw.

    Coldest March ever up north in Gaylord and Houghton Lake.

    I think we’re all ready for spring.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      You can add GR to the list at number 4

  16. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Well its time to turn the page as we end the 4th coldest March in recorded Grand Rapids history

    Now the question is just how cold will April turn out? It sure looks to start on the cold side in looking back at the Aprils after the 3 coldest Marches in the past (this March we ended up with a mean temp of 26.6)

    1965 mean temp was 26.1° that April the mean temp was 42.8° (average is 48.0°) and that summer was cool with frost in June up north,
    1960 mean temp was 23.9° in April it was near average at 48.9 summer was once again on the cools side.
    1912 mean temp was 25.0° in April it was 46.8° (Titanic hit iceberg) summer was cooler then average
    And here are a few others that are close to this year!
    1900 March average 26.7° April was 49.8° and that summer was warm with August coming in at 76.3°
    1906 March average 27.9 April was 48.4 and that summer was near average
    1926 March was 27.6° and April was a cold 40..4 but that summer was also near average.
    1941 March was 27.9 and April was a warm 51.3° and that summer was near average

    So how will this April and summer turn out? For April we will know in less then 30 days and for the summer we will just have to wait and see.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Here is the CPC take on the next three months… it shows cold so it will probably hot :)

      1. Ben says:

        They have a warm bias with their forecasts. I think this winter was forecasted as average. It takes a lot for them to predict cold so it might actually be.

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      March DID “go out like a lamb”!!! Waited ’til the last freakin day to do it, though…..LOL!!!!

      It’s 40 here this morning – feels so wonderfully, delightfully warm!!!!! But I noticed that there’s no melt-water standing on the ice – that’s a sign that the ice has become porous (and dangerous). It can be 4″ thick – you can walk on it and then drop through it with no warning crack/groan/whatever… the icefishermen are gone, too.

      1. GunLakeDeb says:

        And by 10AM, the wind picked up and now my temp is 30…. and the wind coming across the ice is COLD. Rats.

      2. Scott (Hartford Van Buren Co.) says:

        I had open water this morning on my lake, with the south wind it pushed the ice away from my shore. My neighbor left their dock in last fall, it is now about 10 feet away from shore and mostly underwater. I tried to tell him about the power of ice, he did not seem to think to much about it.

  17. kevin. says:

    Been up since 4 this morning been burnin the sap and buckets overflowing and lines pumpin like crazy. Did a sample and it looks like I have one more day and things will shut down as the buds are comin out and sugar sap/color will probably change after today. Have to be very cautious when the buds come out because then your boiling garbage. It can be a long season or a very short one but if you don’t jump on it when its time you lose out til next season. I have to commend my neighbors for helping and they get the gold in the long run. Man I’m dead tired eat breakfast and will go til about 9 tonight and get up at 3 tomorrow for the last show. I see shepherd is over the 1200 mark from what I’m hearing they have quite the crew at the sugarbush working there last night. I heard on the news this morning that they may not find that plane that sure is very weird. I wonder if it landed on the water like the Hudson plane did then just sank down to the bottom…Very sad. Have a good day. ;)

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      I know it’s hard work and no sleep – but speaking as someone who thinks REAL Maple Syrup is divine – thank you for doing this!!!

    2. Todd In Nunica says:

      Where are you at Kevin?

      Our sap is still crystal clear, sweet as can be. and flowing like crazy, buds are still tight here, (my silver in my back yard are swelling just a bit, but none of the sugar maples we tap)

      We are very close to the lake (like 5 miles) so we generally get a longer season than inland.

    3. Bernie at the lakeshore says:

      I use the late season sap for making maple candy. :)

  18. Eileen (Hesperia) says:

    Just saw my 1st Daddy Bluebird. He’s busy going in and out of all the bluebird houses we have. Sure is good to see that little fellow again – how exciting :)

  19. Jeff (Richland) says:

    Anybody get a thunderstorm last night? We had some lightning and thunder (minor) around 3am. A couple days ago, still had 75% or so snowcover in my yard, this morning down to around 20% or less, woo hoo!! Grass looks terrible though.

    1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      My wife and I got up at 3:30am, so she could be at work at 4am. Just before 3am, I heard something that sounded like thunder. I thought it was a semi-truck going by. It was raining good when my wife left for work.

  20. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    06Z GFS shows a major ice storm for northern lower.

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      I’ve always liked the NWS Hourly Graphical forecast – and it looks like all of us are under the threat of freezing rain early Thursday AM :-( I’m going to go “exercise” the generator right now – maybe if I’m completely prepared for a power outage – it won’t happen? I just got a postcard from Consumers Energy, that they’ll be trimming trees in our area. The last time they did this – we didn’t lose power for almost 10 years. Glad they’re coming through again – unfortunately it won’t help this week….

      1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

        From of Hastings to Battle Creek, seen major tree damage from the December ice storm. Someone better be doing some major tree trimming soon before the next big storm or more powerlines will be coming down. I did see Consumer Energy putting up new poles on M-37.

  21. on the Grand says:

    Ok, enough with the April Fools jokes. It is like winter again, grey, howling winds all we need the snow.

  22. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Up to 57 degrees in Detroit already. 53 degrees here.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      The cold front passed through GR and Battle Creek already, enjoy it quick.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        Not yet. 59 degrees in Detroit. 57 here.

    2. DF (SE Mich) says:

      A crazy gradient, Detroit City Airport is warmer than Indianapolis. Harbor Springs way up north is much warmer than GR.

      1. yooper4021 says:

        Almost a 40 degree difference from Ironwood (mid 20′s) to SE Mich (low 60′s). Gotta love this time of year in Michigan.

    3. DF (SE Mich) says:

      63° in Ypsi, I’m going for a walk at lunch :)

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        I thought you said the next time we saw 60 degrees was going to be the end of April? ;)

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          As much as you want this to be a Flint blog I was talking to the West Michigan people. Nice try though.

  23. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Amazing temp swings today, cold front is now through Lansing.

  24. Dan says:

    46 degrees this early am. Now, it’s about 31 degrees!
    Unbelievable, the warm air tries to come and stay but it keeps getting forced out. I think, the wind speeds have also picked up considerably .

  25. Wswplz says:

    The WPC did make a slight adjustment to the maps regarding our chances of seeing freezing rain as GunLakeDeb was correct from my earlier post. The forecast from the NWS however has remained the same since in regard to my previous thoughts about our chances of seeing some freeza in our forecast forecast. ( my earlier post is at top of thread ) Since Tomkap believes that anyone other then himself lacks credibility I will not leave my opinion on the possible events to come. So using the words of Tomkap the Great , ” you might want to go back and read it again ” :)


    ISSUED AT 330 AM EDT TUE APR 1 2014


  26. Paul m says:

    Some models are showing Thursday night/Friday storm tracking further north and west of us.
    Even some warm air making it into West Michigan.something to keep an eye on.

    1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      Just saw that. Some models are now showing more 60 degrees for Friday for me.

      1. Paul m says:

        Would be awesome to get the low to track over Iowa to Madison to GreenBay line!

      2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

        These kind of temperatures can set off severe storms this time of the year. Anything can happen in April, cold one day and warm the next. Just stay tune to StormTeam 8 and the experts here on the blog.

      3. Wswplz says:

        Especially when they are calling for freeza just the slightest move will change if and who will end up seeing it. This time of year makes the already difficult task in forecasting weather all the more challenging. I’m really anxious to having severe weather outlooks for our area , as for now I’m limited to looking at what folks to our south might see , however it is getting closer as of late. I could see a few transient cells working there way into our southern cwa around Friday , now only if those were supercells 4000-6000 j / kg cape / we would be in business.

      4. Steve (N Moline) says:

        ARGH! Stop taking all the warm weather Travis.

  27. yooper4021 says:

    More ridiculous winter fun facts from NWS Marquette…

    Since December 5 – 117 days in total – above normal temps were observed only 24 days…and of those, only 7 days were double-digits above normal. Over that same period, 56 days were double-digits below normal.

    A silver lining? Despite a current snow cover of 35 inches, the last three months all have had below normal snowfall and in total, they are 28 inches below normal for the season.

  28. yooper4021 says:

    Late season snowmobiling in northern Wisconsin – last weekend, from Eagle River, courtesy of Tom Skilling’s blog:

    1. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

      Awesome. Looks like they could add to that snow depth later this week!

  29. suehelen says:

    Why is it whenever I have a trip planned, the weather turns to crap? Good grief. Just what we need.. an ice storm.

  30. suehelen says:

    I know there’s nothing I can do about it, but I am sick to death of this stupid weather.

    1. yooper4021 says:


    2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      KeyWest Florida is nice year round, until a tropical storm comes calling.

    3. yooper4021 says:

      Yes, Larry, Key West is great! 25 days and counting until our vacation!

  31. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

    GRR NWS is mentioning a snowstorm possibility next Monday. If not us then to our south…

    1. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

      A snowstorm could miss us to the south.. In APRIL! The most realistic outcome is that it will probably miss us to the north and give us a lot of rain. Just like all the others… but you never know.

    2. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

      If we did get any snow, it wouldn’t be on the ground for long.

  32. Tyler says:

    You guys have any snow left downstate? Any snowpiles left? This might be the first time in April I can ever remember snow lasting this long that far south.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      We have a ton of SNOW left and the SNOW piles are at least 4 to 6 feet high in spots! It is INCREDIBLE!

  33. Resourceful Nana says:

    No snow in our yard–very little in the woods, and a few ditches are still white that collected what the wind moved around. Heard first frogs this morning. The wind is helping break up the ice on the lake. With the sun this afternoon, it’s great to see the blue reflection from water instead of ice! St. Joseph County

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