Record low snow fall!

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast, Slim | 13

Record low snow winter.

Of course, we will not know for sure how much snow this winter will have (as of today it is 9.4”) But at this time the winter of 2020/21 is running very similar to the winter of 1905/06.  For November, December and up to Friday AM I will give you a run down of 2020/21 compared to 1905/06 Just to remind you in the winter of 1905/06 Grand Rapids had it lowest seasonal snow fall of just 20.0”

November 1905, I have a small issue with the month of November in 1905 at the mean was reported as the mean for that month was 36.8 for a departure of -3.3. While the high for the month was a warm 67 on the 25th but the low of 15 was reported just 5 days later. There were a total of 5 nights when the low dropped into the teen 4 times and 8 more time it dropped into the 20’s. but only 0.1” of snow was reported to have fallen.  November 2020.  The mean was 44.3 and a departure of +4.2. The high was 77 there were a total of 6 days with highs in the 70’s the low for the month was 22 and there was 0.4” snow fall. At this point the total snow fall was 1905/06 0.1” 2020/20 0.4”

December 1905. The mean was 30.4 good for a departure of +1.2. The high for the month was 48 and the low was 14. The month started with 4 days in a row of snow fall and by the 3rd there was 2” of snow on the ground. After the 4th it did not snow again until the 21st when the largest snow fall of the month of 1.8” fell. December 1905 ended with a total of 5.3” and the season was then at 5.4” December 2020 The mean was 32.4 a departure of +3.2 The high was 53 and the low was 18. There were 9 days of a trace of snow fall before the 1st snow fall of 1.2” on the 21st There was also snow falls of 2.6” on the 29th and 1.1” on the 30th for the month 4.9” fell. At this point the 1905/06 5.4” and 2020/21 was 5.3”.

January 1906. Up to the 22nd of January 1906 the high for the month was 64 and the low was 12. At that point, a total of 5.6” of snow had fallen. So far in 2021 As of today Grand Rapids total snow fall this season is just 9.4” As of January 21st, 1906 the seasonal snow fall of the winter of 1905/06 was 11” So this winter is the least amount of snow that has fallen this late into the season.

For the month of January 1906 the mean was 31.6 for a departure of +7.2 the high for the month was 64 and the low was 12 and a total of 5.6” of snow fell.

February 1906. The mean in February 1906 was 23.8 that was a departure of -3.0. The first 15 days were very cold the low for the month was -6 and a total of 5 nights fell to 0 or below. And 8 more nights fell to 10 or below and 1 day did not get above 10 The high for the month was 56.  BUT only 2.7” of snow fall was reported with the most on the ground being just 2”

March 1906. The cold continued into March with a mean of 27.6 a departure of -7.7 The high for the month was just 53 and the low was +6. While just 6.3” of snow fell it was still the most snow of any month of the winter of 1905/06.

It is now time see how the rest of the winter of 2020/21 plays out.


NWS Discussion:

- 1 to 2 inches of warm advection snow Sunday

Shortwave ridging and surface anticyclone will mean fair weather
today and tonight. We are expecting warm air advection/isentropic
ascent to give us a burst of snow on Sunday afternoon. We have
had a couple similar events the past few weeks and model
consistency with the timing and QPF means this is a fairly
confident forecast.

Impacts will be limited as surface temperatures are in the lower
30s during the height of the storm so road surfaces probably will
not be icy but could be snowcovered in areas where the snow comes
down heavy enough. The best chance of that is across the central
and northern zones, generally north of I-96. The snow is ending
Sunday evening then we watch the southern stream low approaching
from the southwest on Monday.

- 3 to 6 inches of f-gen snow Monday night/Tuesday

Not too surprisingly, the models have trended back north with the
track of the low early next week and are similar to what they
were showing several days ago, before they trended south. This is
a decent synoptic set up for f-gen snows as the cold anticyclone
is feeding cold air in while moisture transport from the Gulf
region is impressive with even some hints of instability at mid

We expect the band of heaviest snows to be from I-94 to near I-96
with a general 3 to 6 inch snow in this area, perhaps some higher
amounts if the low is robust enough to have mid level instability
and a cold conveyor belt develop. There could well be a sharp
northern edge to the snow as is the case with dry and cold air
advecting into the storm. Where that northern edge sets up is the
big question. Yesterday most of the guidance had it across I-94
and the southern forecast area and tonight it has shifted to our
northern forecast area near US 10.

The frontogenetical forcing wakens and the snow tapers off
Tuesday night with hints of a weak surface wave bringing a batch
of light snow through on Wednesday. This was not reflected in the
blended POPs so something to address later.

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Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

I am still not feeling it with next weeks storm. It looks to me that most of the heavier snow will be south of GR. I will start checking the RDB model runs sometime tomorrow! Stay tuned for later updates!

Nathan (Forest Hills)
Nathan (Forest Hills)

The NWS seems optimistic about the systems for Monday-Wednesday. Considering that Monday is almost 48 hours out, I’d have to imagine we will be getting some Winter Storm Watch’s tomorrow (if the forecast does not change). I’ll hold off on my excitement until tomorrow… As has happened many times this season, these systems shift quite quickly.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

I am with you on not getting too excited. As usual there are lot of variable, however we at least have a chance! Bring it on!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The storm track is still looking great. The only question is how much of this be snow! Bring it on!

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

Thanks for the comparison of Winters today Slim! No doubt a historic snow drought unfolding for us this winter. Keep the stats and record numbers coming!

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

Record?…nah. Plan on 10-20 inches for each month of Feb and Mar…routine. Grateful for the “easy” winter so far. Snow does not a winter make…we are frozen, with the cold securely in place.


10* degrees in my area this morning that’s bone chilling cold tracking some good Snows tomorrow winter weather advisory criteria and now Monday into Tuesdays storm the models as of this morning have it moving north into west Michigan probably winter storm watch criteria I’m thinking get ready for some decent snowfall long love the record low snowfall totals …..INDY!!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

We do have some hope! Rock n roll will never die!


9 degrees this morning – I believe this is the coldest morning so far this winter.
I added the NWS discussion to Slim’s post as a preparatory note on the possibility of a storm in the Monday/Tuesday timeframe.