After a late-season snowfall, the 2013-14 season is officially the snowiest on record at both Detroit and Flint. We have already discussed the record January snowfall in Detroit and Flint as well as the snowiest starts to the winter season through January. February finished as another top 20 snowiest month with Detroit at its 9th snowiest February, Flint 3rd snowiest and Saginaw T-15th snowiest February on record. All of this snow is placing southeast Michigan into the top of the seasonal snowfall records. The past 10 to 15 years have had some active and snowy winters. In fact, this winter puts 6 of the last 14 years into the top 20 snowiest winters on record.
|Record (Year)||Current Seasonal Ranking|
* Previous record
Not only have we received a lot of snow this winter, but the lack of thaws has allowed the snow pack to be remarkably long-lived. We have set records at both Detroit and Flint for consecutive days with snow cover. The snow cover streak began on 12/31/13 at Detroit, and on 12/9/13 at Flint, before ending in mid-March. The table below shows the longest streaks of consecutive days with at least 1" snow depth (ending date in parentheses).
|Detroit Area (only available back to 1948)
|1||77 days (3/17/2014)||101 days (3/19/2014)|
|2||73 (3/15/1978)||88 (3/3/1963)|
|3||64 (2/8/2001)||81 (3/22/1978)|
|4||54 (2/11/1976)||67 (2/9/2001)|
|5||48 (2/17/1948)||65 (2/17/1948)|
December was below average for temperatures. January placed in the top 15 coldest Januarys and February placed in the top twenty coldest (Detroit was 16th, Flint was 4th and Saginaw was 8th coldest February). How does the winter of 2013-14 compare to other winters? Average winter temperature statistics only include the winter meteorological months of December, January and February.
|Coldest Winter Since
||2013-14 Ranking||All-time Coldest|
|Flint Area||19.0||1978-79||5th||16.7 (1976-77)|
November and especially March are more like winter months in Michigan. Another way to look at the prolonged very cold regime over the Great Lakes is to look at the average temperature from November 1st to the end of March (the cold season). The 2013-14 cold season was a record-setting one at Flint: the average temperature of 24.0 beat the previous record low of 24.5 set back in 1962-63. This cold season was the second-coldest of all time at Saginaw and the fourth-coldest at Detroit.
Cold Season (November to March) 2013-14
|Coldest Cold Season Since
||2013-14 Ranking||All-time Coldest|
|Flint Area||24.0||--||1st||24.5* (1962-63)|
This winter has also experienced a number of low temperatures below zero. Below is another table to gain additional perspective on the cold by looking at the number of times we have fallen below zero this cold season.
|Location||Number of Days Below Zero this Cold Season
||Most Days Below Zero Since (Season and Number of Days)||Current Ranking||Average Number of Days Below Zero in a Season||Record (Season)|
|Detroit Area||13||15 (1983-84)||T-7th||3.6||21 (1884-85)|
|Flint Area||27||28 (1962-1963)||2nd||7.4||28 (1962-63)|
|Saginaw||18||21 (1978-79)||7th||6.7||25 (1962-63)|
Not too surprising that winter is also approaching another "Top Ten"...the most number of days freezing or below (32 degrees or lower for a high temperature). Below is a table to see where the 2013-14 cold season ranks in this metric.
|Location||Number of Days 32 degrees or lower this Cold Season
||Most Days Freezing or Below Since (Season and Number of Days)||Current Ranking||Average Number of Days Freezing or Below in a Season||Record (Season)|
|Detroit Area||79||85 (1903-04)||3rd||49||86 (1880-81)|
|Flint Area||83||83 (1977-78)||T-1st||53||83 (1977-78)|
|Saginaw||88||96 (1977-78)||3rd||60||96 (1977-78)|