Winter 2009-2010

Words on Weather & Climate — March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Winter 2009-2010 by CRAIG JAMES The calendar says winter lasts until March 20 this year. However, meteorologists consider winter to be the three full months of December, January and February. Spring is March, April and May, etc. So winter is over, right? Any snow now is spring snow. Can’t you see the difference? So how did the temperatures turn out this winter season in West Michigan? In Grand Rapids, the temperature for the three months was 1.6 degrees above average. In Muskegon, it was 1.1 degrees above average, but in Kalamazoo it was 1.6 degrees below average. So the northern part of our area was a little warmer and the southern part a little cooler. My forecast in the December 10 edition of this newspaper was for temperatures to be “near to a little below average.” I’d give myself a “pretty close but not exactly right on” for the forecast. The snowfall season runs from the first flake to the last flake. The first flakes fell this year on November 26 and the last flakes… well, I would guess we will see flakes this year into April for a six-month snow season. We have seen snow October into May before, so don’t complain. As of the end of February, the total in Grand Rapids was 70.2 inches, in Muskegon 73.2 inches, and 69.7 inches in Kalamazoo. This gives us a snowfall that is a little above average up to this point, but certainly less than the 104.5 inches we had received by this point last winter. Muskegon’s total is almost 20 inches below what they would normally see up to this point in the winter and way below the 147.8 inches they had at this point last year. My forecast for this season was for around 70 inches in Grand Rapids. So, to be right on, I hope it doesn’t snow much more. That is possible, but not likely. Last year, from this point on in the season, we had just 0.4 inches of additional snow. The heaviest snows and the coldest temperatures relative to average this season have been to our south and southeast. In the month of February, the cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Philadelphia, among many others, had the snowiest month […]