Usually by this time in the winter season (the first half of March) many people across northern Michigan begin to wonder if the current snow pack will ever melt. Well the answer is yes - as it always has.
March can be an interesting weather month for northern Michigan. March often acts like a buffer between winter’s extremely cold air retreating back north and the warmer air of spring beginning to push in from the Ohio Valley. This blend of retreating winter cold and advancing spring warmth is evident when looking at normal March temperatures, with afternoon highs in the mid 30s to lower 40s and overnight lows lingering in the teens and 20s.
Additionally, March sun rides much higher in the sky supplying more daylight when compared to deep winter. Interestingly, by the first week of March, daylight increases by 141 minutes when compared to January 1st. In short, the longer days, higher sun angle, and encroaching warmer air from the south all work to accelerate snow melt across northern Michigan during March.
The table below shows the average date that the snow depth falls below 1 inch for several locations across northern Michigan (based on data between 1980 and 2013).