With the start of the new year I thought it would be a good time to look back at years past and look at some top 5 years as to temperature, snow fall and precipitation. First here are the averages for 1. Annual mean temperature. 2. Snow fall and 3. Precipitation. 1. The mean annual temperature for Grand Rapids is 48.3° the 30 year mean total snow fall is 73.9” (at the airport) the mean precipitation is 38.15” now that we know the means lets see how some extremes there have been.
The mean annual temperature in Grand Rapids has ranged from a high of 52.8° all the way down to 44.6° Here is a list of the top 2 warmest and coldest years in Grand Rapids recorded history for this report the years of history at Grand Rapids will be from 1899 to 2017. While records were kept before 1899 the yearly totals are spotty.
The readings above are from my house on July 6th 2012
WARMES TOP 5
The warmest 5 years in Grand Rapids are
1. 2012 the mean temperature for that year is 52.8° the warmest month that year was July with a mean of 79.2° The warmest day that month was a hot 104° at GRR on July 6th I had a high here at my house of 108° on that date. 4 more record highs were recorded that month. The other big event that year was the March heat wave with the temperature reaching a high of 87° on March 21st that March is the warmest March on record here in Grand Rapids.
2. The second warmest years in Grand Rapids is a tie between 1921 and 1931 with both years having a mean of 52.2° The July in 1921 is the warmest July in Grand Rapids history with a mean of 79.7° That month had one 100° day and 16 90° days. All of the winter months were warmer than average. The year 1931 it was the fall and winter months that made that year so warm.
3. The 3rd warmest years coming in at 51.5° also is a tie between 1998 and 2010 both these years were just overall warm years.
Coldest top 5
- The coldest year in Grand Rapids was 100 years ago. 1917 is by far the coldest overall year with a mean of 44.6° While ever month that year was colder then average it was the departures in February -9.5° April -4.9° May -7.0° June -5.8° October -8.1° and December -8.1° that really stand out. While the year was cold the highest for the year was still 98° and the lowest for the year was -12°
- In 2nd place for the coldest year is 1904 with a mean of 45.2° In 1904 the only month that was not below average was November (+0.5°) January was -7.1° February was -12.2° March was –3.4° and it had 20.0” of snow that may have led to the big flood of 1904. August -4.9° and December -4.6° also were well below average.
- In 3rd place was 1972 with a mean of 45.6° The year did not have a single month that was warmer than average with May -6.0 and October -4.9° leading the way. There was frost as late as June 11th
- 1943 with a mean of 45.7° that year had a cold winter then a very cold spring with March -6.6° April -6.7° and May -4.3° leading the way.
- 1989 with a mean of 45.9° comes in 5 place.
Believe it or not 4 of the 5 most snowiest seasons have happened since 2000.
- The most snow in a season fell in the winter of 1951/52 when 1320.” Fell at the old airport and a reported 144.5” at a old office somewhere downtown.
- The 2nd place in the snow fall race was not that long ago and is the bench mark that younger members use as their benchmark.
- In 3rd place with 107.0” is the winter of 2007/08 the winter was highlighted by a record snow fall in February of 41.6”
- 4th place belongs to the winter of 2001-02 with 105.2” of snow fall. The story that winter was December when a whopping 59.2” of snow fell.
- 5th place belongs to the winter of 2008/09 when 104.9” fell with the 54.6” in December leading the way.
THE LEAST SNOW
For the most part the winters seasons with little snow happened many years ago but I am sure we are over due of one. Next winter??? Sorry Rocky and Indy it will happen one of these winters. Anyway here is the current list of Grand Rapids winters with little snow fall.
- The winter of 1905/06 only a reported 20” of snow was reported at Grand Rapids. The break down for that winter November 0.1” December 5.3” January 5.6” February 2.7” and March 6.3”
- The very next winter 1906/07 with 30.1” comes in 2nd place
- In 3rd place is 33.2” in the winter of 1948/49 that winter Millington (near Flint) reported NO snow at all in January.
- In 4th place come the winter of 1936/37 when only 34.4” fell
- In 5th pace comes the winter of 1982/83 when only 35.9” fell and of that 13.2” fell in March and yet another 0.7” (at Grand Rapids) fell in April. I remember that winter very well I lived in Bay City at the time and only 23.8” fell there with 13.1” in March and 1.0” in April
The mean annual precipitation here in Grand Rapids is 38.15” but has ranged from 20.92” up to 48.80”
- 80” in 2008. In 2008 September with 9.54”and December with 6.27” lead the way
- 53” in 1986. The big story in 1986 was September when a record 11.85” fell. June was also very wet with 7.14”
- 29” in 2016. In 2016 the big players were August with 7.97” and October with 6.15” June was some what dry with only 1.15”
- 11” way back in 1911. While March 0.73” and July 1.27” were dry May 7.18” September 7.58” and October 6.17” helped make 2011 get its 4th place
- 86” in 1981. Like 1911 1981 had some dry months with January only recording 0.47” but September 9.52” and April 6.11” were wet.
- With 20.92” 1930 is the driest year reported here in Grand Rapids. While the years started with a wet January 3.21” July 0.56” and August 0.40” were dry.
- 77” in 1962. This kind of surprised me as I always pictured the 1930’s as being the dry years. 1962 like 1930 January started off wet with 3.02” (36.1” of snow) and while only November was real dry 0.63” the rest of the months were well below average.
- With 23.57” 1910 comes in 3rd place the big player in 1910 was March with just 0.08” That is the record lowest for a March here in Grand Rapids.
- 4th place belongs to 1944 with 23.46” October with just 0.29” was the driest month in 1944.
- In 5th place is 1913 with 23.68”. December with 0..31” was the dry month that year.
It is now time to wish ever one a
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
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