Below Normal Temps Will Rule In March

Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-16 17:56:25-04

WEST MICHIGAN (March 16, 2014) — My first line in this story? Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m only in the retail end of the weather, not the manufacturing part of it. I know most of us have had enough of this long winter, cold temps, several feet of snow, and everything else that goes along with it. Unfortunately, it will be a while before it changes.

While the first day of Spring officially arrives THIS week on Thursday, someone needs to phone Mother Nature and tell her. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is a branch of NOAA and the National Weather Service whose responsibility it is to formulate longer range forecasts. That’s one of the primary objectives of their meteorologists. That said, the snapshot attached to this story is the six to 10 day temperature outlook. Note that there is an 80 percent bull’s-eye over Michigan (dark purple) that temperatures will be below normal from March 22 to March 26. That doesn’t mean we won’t or can’t see some brief warm ups, but the idea is any extended period of warmer (or above normal) temperatures during this time frame are unlikely.

Normal/average high temperatures for this time of year have Grand Rapids in the mid 40s. If the six to 10 day outlook wasn’t depressing enough, take a look at the CPC eight to 14 day outlook below. A 70 percent chance of below normal temperatures exists over the entire Great Lakes from March 24 through March 30. See image below.

It’s important to note that West Michigan is in an extremely precarious position. While a brief warm up here and there is not what everyone wants, it allows our snow and ice melt a gradual thaw that rivers and lakes can handle as cold air settles back in behind each warm up. An extended period of above normal temperatures could spell record flooding (as we’ve been saying for weeks) if it happened. The snow and ice around the are need to melt gradually. Perhaps April will be a bit more on the friendly side for temperatures.

While West Michigan will be impacted by a couple of low pressure areas and storm system this week, it doesn’t appear to be anything major at this time. In short, some rain is likely Tuesday night, changing to snow showers on Wednesday with windy conditions. Accumulations should be minimal if they occur. Another system by weeks end may deliver some snow, but a major system with significant accumulations is not forecast at this time.

Get the complete forecast at I’ll keep you updated all this week on FOX 17 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 PM. Have a pleasant week.