9th Warmest on Record.

posted in: SlimJim, Weather History | 12



The winter of 2016/17 was the eight warmest on record in Grand Rapids. With the winters of 2015/16, 2011/12, 2001/02, 1997/98, 1982/83, 1931/32,1920/21 and 1918/19 being warmer. The past winter was the 8 warmest in Detroit and Flint and was the 9th warmest in Saginaw. In looking at the above past warm winter and how the following spring and summer turned out to see if that may give us a clue as to how this spring and summer may end up. Remember just like the stock market past performance does not indicate how the future will turn out.
1918/19 the winter of 1918/19 had a mean temperature of 31° that winter only 41.9” of snow was reported at Grand Rapids with 18.2” of that falling in March and yet another 5.0” falling in April. Like this past winter the temperature did not get below 0° here in Grand Rapids. April was colder than average (-2.3°) and there was a 4” snow storm on April 15th that year. May was also colder than average (-2.4°) June and July were very warm and August fell below average.
1920/21 this winter had a mean of 30.9° Again this winter also did not have a subzero day here in Grand Rapids. That winter GR had 35.6” of snow and once again April had a 3” snow storm, this time on April 16th However that April was +4.7° in fact May, June and July were also above average with August coming in very near average at -0.2°
1931/32 That winter was the warmest in Grand Rapids history with a mean of 33.9° there was 41.1” of snow that winter. Of that 25.3” fell in March and once again there was no subzero nights. But only a 0.3” April snow fall. But April was well below average at -3.1° May was near average and June was +2.1° July was near average and August +1.9°

1982/83 the winter of 1982/83 was a warm one (3 month mean of 31.4°) with little snow fall 35..9” (of that 13.4” fell in March) that was pinned on being a strong El Niño. This winter also did not see Grand Rapids falling to subzero levels. April 1983 was much colder than average (-5.4°) and like some other warm winters April also seen some mid month snow (Just under one inch in Grand Rapids on the 16th much more in other parts of Michigan.  April 16th seen 8” of snow in Bay City 6.4” in Flint, 3.4” in Detroit. After a cold April May was also a very cold month (-6.0°) at Grand Rapids with a frost as late as May 27th June was near average (-0.8°) July and August were warm.

1997/98 was another warm El Niño winter, The mean here in GR that winter was 32.3° there was 59.8” of snow that season of that 13.8” fell in March, This was yet another winter without a subzero date in Grand Rapids. April was near average and there was no snow this April. May was well above average (+5.5°) June fell to below average (-1.0°) July was near average (-0.3°) August was above average at +1.4°.

2001/02 the winter of 2001/02 the mean in Grand Rapids was 31.6° That winter was  winter was bookend winter on the snow fall as of the 105.2” that fell that season 53.9” fell in December and 22.6” fell in March and like most other warm winters 2.0” fell in April. April started out very cold and there was snow reported on 6 of the first 7 days of April, The month ended up at -1.1° but did have some very warm temperatures in mid month when it reached 86 on two days. May was very cold (-6.1°) and there was a trace of snow on the 19th when the low reached 30° June was a little warmer than average at +1.0° July was also warm and August was near average.

2011/12 the mean temperature for this winter was 32.2° the snow fall came in at 51.2” January was the snowiest month (27.0”) the spring months of April and May had a trace.  After a record setting March April 2012 came is near average (+0.3°) we did have a trace of snow reported on April 10th May and June were warmer than average.  July was much warmer than average and on July with two days reaching above 100 the official 104 on July was by far the hottest day of the year (I had a reading of 108° here at my house. After a very hot July August was one of the rare months that came in at average on the dot.

Below are some pictures of my readings on July 6, 2012. While the official high for the day at Grand Rapids was 104° at my house I had two reading of 108° and if that was “official” it would have tied the all time record at Grand Rapids. I had another reading of 105° There is no question that July 6, 2012 was one of the hottest days in Grand Rapids history.

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2015/2016 For the winter the mean was 31.5° thanks to the record warmest December mean of 39.1° (+9.9°) For the season the snow fall was 61.1” 31 of those inches fell in November With December only getting 1” As did many other “warm” winters April 2016 had snow in fact 9.4” of it at Grand Rapids. And April was colder than average (-2.0°) May, June, July and August were all warmer than average.


2016/17 This past winter the mean was 30.4° With February coming in at 34.7° and that was a new record for February. And for the 2nd year in a row Grand Rapids did not have a subzero night! The current snow fall for this season now stands at 59.7”

So now how will the spring/summer of 2017 turn out? Well 6 of the 8 past warm winters had snow in April. So that is one thing we will have to keep an eye on. And while most of the summers were warm only one was what I would call “hot” so we shall see. I still think that this spring and summer will see one or more months of below average temperatures.And don’t be too surprised to see some more snow in April.


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Forecast Discussion



Wet weather will continue into early next week as low pressure slowly approaches Lower Michigan from the southwest. Temperatures will be held into the 40s today as clouds and showers become widespread.


Model continuity was good so few changes were made in the near term. Likely to categorical POPs through the period with some wavering in the coverage of showers as low center approaches. Temperature forecast is also fairly consistent to prior forecast as clouds and showers will prevent mixing today of shallow cold air that advected in Friday evening with low level northeast flow.

Coolest conditions will be across the northeast forecast zones where maxes today will be hard pressed to get out of the 30s. Do not see any issues with freezing rain as sfc temps should remain above freezing. .


An unsettled and showery pattern will continue Monday night as a trough of low pressure continues to bring more showers. Low pressure over the Arklatex region will move northeast along a frontal boundary and perhaps bring more numerous showers to our southern fcst area Monday night. However a consensus of latest medium range guidance now suggests that the steadier pcpn Monday night into Tuesday will stay south of our fcst area across IN/OH.

Dry weather will finally return Tuesday through midweek as a high pressure ridge builds in from the north. The next low pressure system will bring a chance of showers as early as late Wednesday night with a better chance for rain Thursday through Friday as a southern Plains low pressure system moves northeast into the lower Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions. Temperatures will return to near normal for this time of year through the long range forecast period.

12 on "9th Warmest on Record."

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Thanks Slim – I added the forecast data – I did slow the animation speeds on the HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh) forecast images so they would be easier to read.

ROCKY (Rockford)

SNOW is starting to show up on the long range models!

Andy W

Yeah, like the December 2017 long range model!!

Andy W

We always get tons of snow storms with temps in the 50’s!!


Sandy ( Hudsonville)

We had our 5k race this morning here. Went & watched our daughter & grandson run it It was rainy with a wind chill of 26.

Mark (East Lansing)

Dreary day for sure. A good day to stay inside. We’ve been doing some spring cleaning.

ROCKY (Rockford)

Just another below normal temp day in March! What a cold month even though the CPC predicted above normal temps! Ya right! Wrong again!

Andy W

Lol!! Saying that a day after it was 70 in GR!

Andy W

Also, where’s the 200 to 300 inches of snow that your instantweather models were showing in total accumulation throughout the winter??? Talk about fake models!!

Andy W

WRONG!!! 1 degree above normal yesterday!

Jack Edwards
A GOOD SONday Morning To ALL. Skies Permitting Of COURSE….We Could Have Some Magic In The SKY…. Charged Particles from Sun heading towards Earth. First 24 hours: 5 Kp possible. Second 24 hours: 6 Kp possible. When does the Aurora storm watch begin?       The storm watch begins… Read more »