April Snow Is Not Really Rare

Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-14 16:56:46-04

 WEST MICHIGAN – I know we should be seeing temperatures well in to the 50s (58 is average for this time of year) and certainly more sunshine than we’ve had, but don’t think snow is rare in April. Frankly…it’s not!

I hear people and unfortunately other meteorologists talking about “rare April snow” and that’s just not the case. For facts, stats, and a second opinion, I asked the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids what they thought. Their initial comments were that people have spring on the mind…especially since last spring was ridiculously warm…now that was truly rare!

Normal snowfall for Grand Rapids for the month of April is 1.8 inches. Not alot, but it certainly does happen. From 2000 to 2005, there was measurable snowfall in April every year. From 2006 to 20012, only 2007 and 2011 had measurable snowfall. That said, the NWS also says there is usually an average of at least two days of measurable snowfall from the climate records between 1900 and 2012. It’s not much, but we can come to expect this in April more often than not.

Perhaps the more interesting item to note is that Grand Rapids has not hit 60 degrees yet! In fact, we are now in record territory for having the latest 60 degree temperature. The latest 60 degree temperature of all time for GR occurred on April 17, 1975. The second latest was April 15, 1982, and the third latest was April 13, 1926. I expect to end up in second place this year since I’m forecasting 63 for Monday. So we could feasibly tie the second place record.

Flooding is already a concern across the area with warnings and advisories in effect. I’ll have more on this in a posting this evening, but click herefor the latest river information. Make sure to check at for the complete forecast!

By the way, the attached photo was submitted to our FOX 17 Facebook page by Deb Whitney Daniels in Yankee Springs showing the unusual, but not rare April snow.