Spring Freezes – Weekend Forecast

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast | 9

We had .27 of an inch of rain yesterday in Otsego. We briefly reached 74.5° for the high temp before dropping to the low 60s when the rain moved through with some gusty winds before 5 pm.  We have expectations of scattered showers right on through the weekend due to a couple of sluggish low-pressure systems moving through the area.  We will still be in the 60s for high temps today and tomorrow before dropping back into the 50s on Sunday.

This is the time of year when the weather warms we have a hankering to start planting outside especially when the perennials start blooming in our flower gardens.  It is still early to think about the planting annuals due to the possibility of frost.  Below is an article from CoCoRaHS with links to give you an idea when it is safe to start putting out the veggies.

Day of the Last Spring Freeze?

Here is a very helpful message from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center:

Just when you think winter is over …

Every spring, we are teased with intermittent warm periods that motivate us to plant flowers, plant our vegetable garden, or sit back and watch our local farms, orchards, and communities green-up. If we are lucky, once we take that action, a freeze event will avoid us for many months – long after farms have been harvested and flowers have lost their luster. If we’re unlucky, at least one more freeze event will make an appearance and damage our positive planting efforts.

So, how long do we have to wait before we know it’s safe? Every year is different, and weather forecasts can certainly help. However, the climatology of past spring freezes can help remind us when there’s still a chance. NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) provides a map of the “Day of the Last Spring Freeze” based upon the 1981-2010 US Climate Normals. This product shows when the average last spring freeze occurred over that 30-year period.

If you’re interested in when the latest last spring freeze occurred during that period, the earliest last spring freeze occurred, or multiple other combinations, check out the “Midwestern Regional ClimateCenter’s (MRCC’s)” Vegetation Impact Program’s (VIP’s) Frost/Freeze Guidance website. This website provides various climatological products including not only a freeze event defined as <=32F, but also “hard freeze” events defined as <=28F. There are also a variety of climate monitoring tools on this site that provide daily, updated information such as:

  • Date of the most recent freeze event
  • Days since the most recent freeze event
  • Number of freezing days over the past 2 weeks
  • Lowest minimum temperature this past season
  • Accumulated growing degree-days since the most recent freeze event

All of these products are designed for the public, gardeners, forecasters, and other stakeholders to understand the potential for spring (and fall) freeze events given what has happened in the past – both recent and over the past 30 years.

Forecast Discussion

-- Wet pattern continues --

IR loop shows a well defined upper low spinning over far SW
Wisconsin. The low is going to move slowly north, but be close
enough to SW Lower to provide scattered showers. We may see a few
thunderstorms over the southeast CWA this afternoon where a little
better instability will exist. However, the instability is a bit
less than we saw Friday and we expect fewer storms to develop.

The upper low will get kicked out by another low that will take a
similar track. The ECMWF has had a good handle on the Saturday
system and the GFS is also coming on board to show a decent surface
low move north from the Gulf. This low will be deeper than the
Thursday low and should result in a few more storms and perhaps more
rainfall too. A half inch to perhaps locally an inch seems possible
as the system moves north toward the UP.

There will likely be a lull in the precipitation Saturday night when
the dry slot moves overhead, but the continued presence of the upper
low will likely mean scattered showers through Sunday. The upper low
will weaken considerably after Sunday, but not totally go away, due
to blocking in the atmosphere farther east. Thus, while
precipitation chances will decrease next week, they probably won`t
be zero.

-- Cooler next week --

Highs will be in the 60s through Sunday before cooler air from
Canada works into the Great Lakes. ECMWF ensemble highs are around
50 for much of next week, which will be quite a change from the past
few days.


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Who doesn’t love 50’s and lows in the 30’s for the middle of April …who knew ?? Let the bob fires burn baby woo wooo ….INDY


Regardless of how the rest of April or the rest of the year turns out April 2021 will have one of the earliest warm spells in Grand Rapids history. With this years April 4th to the 8th highs of 71,69,78,80 and 74. Other years with very warm spells of at least 5 days were 2010 when starting on March 31 to April 7th highs were 78,82,83,66,69,68,and 69. April 3rd to the 7th 1929 GR had highs of 69,69,76,80 and 84. And of course the great heat wave of March 2012.


One of the warmest periods ever recorded for early April! It appears 2021 is on its way to being our 5th warm year in a row. The winters are shorter, the summers are longer, and the heat is on!


GR hit 74 degrees yesterday and looks to be another record high!


That 74 tied 1931 for the record. The 75 at Lansing and Muskegon came in for 2nd place as Muskegon seems to have reached 78 in 1969 and Lansing reported a 80 in 1875. GR and Lansing only reported 71 in 1969. Kalamazoo’s 75 was its 4th warmest April 8th And Holland with 74 was its 3rd warmest as 1969 and 1991 were warmer there.


Here are some last freeze dates for Grand Rapids. On average the last 32° date over the last 30 years is April 30th the range is from April 12th, 1991 to the latest of May 25th 1992. Last year it was May 13th and in 2019 it was April 15th The 120 year average last 32° date it May 1st with a range between April 6th 1925 and June 4th 1945. As for the last 28° date the last 30 years the average date is April 17th with a range of between March 24th 1998 and May 13th 1996. Last… Read more »


Low 50’s for highs and lows in the 30’s as far as the eye can seeeee great fire Weather for the middle of April!! Who knew?? INDY


Looks like it was a short summer this year.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

What? Summer weather is not here to stay? How is that possible! Get ready for some more freezes! Crank up the fires and get your sweatshirts ready!