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Cold & Snow to Continue

Posted at 10:32 AM, Mar 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-24 10:32:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 24, 2014) — Temperatures will remain reminiscent of winter around West Michigan for the first half of this week, with a couple of chances at minor snow accumulations.

Snow showers already hampered the Monday commute in a few spots as a weak disturbance got a boost from Lake Michigan.  Another quick-moving system will affect the region overnight into Tuesday morning, leaving some more widespread snow accumulation of around an inch on average.

Highs Monday and Tuesday will struggle to get near 30°, staying in the same range as average low temperatures for the last week of March.  Average highs this time of year are pushing 50°, but only at the end of the 7 Day Forecast will we get anywhere near that mark.

With high temperatures remaining below freezing early this week, I went back to see how this compares to March records over the past 50 years.  We know March 2014 has been cold; only 4 days of 23 have had above-average temperatures.  The month as a whole is running nearly ten degrees below normal!

But it’s days like today, where even ten degrees below normal would put us near 40°, that really make it feel like a continuation of winter.  So I looked at the number of days each month with highs staying below freezing over the last 50 years — and quickly understood how our snow has been able to stick around so long! (Photo above: Brad Klein, Holland)

As of Sunday, we’ve already had ten days in March with highs of 32° or below.  Monday and Tuesday will likely be #11 and 12, beating the highest total of 11 set several times, most recently in 2005.  And in the first three months of 2014, we’ve already had the same number of subfreezing days as the entire year of 2013.

Here is the full data set, from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center:

GRAND RAPIDS INTL AP (MI)
USW00094860
Years: 1965 to 2014
Conditions are: High Temperature (F) less than or equal to 32
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Ann
1965 19 13 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 51
1966 24 13 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 54
1967 11 17 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 11 52
1968 19 16 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20 61
1969 20 15 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 16 63
1970 25 14 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 19 67
1971 24 13 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 56
1972 16 18 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 13 59
1973 15 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 48
1974 16 16 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 14 56
1975 17 17 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 17 66
1976 21 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 21 57
1977 31 17 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 16 69
1978 27 27 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 13 84
1979 28 21 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 59
1980 14 21 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 57
1981 23 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 48
1982 22 18 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 59
1983 11 10 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 24 52
1984 21 7 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 47
1985 27 19 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 21 71
1986 18 22 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 55
1987 18 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 34
1988 21 16 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 57
1989 9 21 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 25 73
1990 6 10 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 30
1991 22 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 10 50
1992 11 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 31
1993 18 18 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 54
1994 23 20 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 53
1995 17 15 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 21 67
1996 22 14 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 11 67
1997 22 16 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 10 58
1998 18 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 34
1999 17 7 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 38
2000 19 13 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 24 61
2001 16 15 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 44
2002 10 7 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 15 44
2003 25 20 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 63
2004 23 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 50
2005 19 15 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 20 69
2006 4 17 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 29
2007 17 20 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 56
2008 17 19 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 18 62
2009 28 14 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 62
2010 22 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 59
2011 27 15 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 47
2012 11 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 23
2013 13 13 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 19 57
2014 23 24 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 57
Avg. 18.9 14.7 5.4 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 12.9 54.4