Comparing the Cold and Snowy January 2014 and '13-'14 Winter Season to the Records

SNOW

Boosted by a pair of significant snow storms in the first week of January, snowfall records have been broken in Detroit and Flint.  Detroit received 10.8" total during the January 1st - 2nd period before receiving another 10.6" during the major storm that impacted the entire area on January 4-5th.  Hitting the jackpot on the 4th and 5th was Flint, where a whopping 17.1" was measured.  Meanwhile, Saginaw has missed most of the action compared with Detroit and Flint.

  January Snowfall Stats

Location January Normal

January 2014

Record (Year) Needed to reach January record All-Time Monthly Record
Detroit Area 12.5" 39.1" 29.6" (1978 - Old Record) *New Record

*New Record

Old record: 38.4" (Feb. 1908)
Flint Area 13.1" 32.9" 28.5" (1976 - Old Record) *New Record 35.3" (Dec. 2000)
Saginaw 11.9" 15.6" 30.9" (1973)

15.3"

40.2 (Dec. 2000)

Of course there are several ways to look at snowy periods in our records.  Those records indicate that Detroit broke their all-time monthly record and Flint had their 2nd snowiest month of all-time.  Also, Detroit and Flint each set a new January record for snowfall in 2014.

Yet another way would be to look at the snowiest 30 day span in our climate records.  Recall that there was another significant snowfall on December 14th and 15th.  That put the 30 day span ending on 1/6/2014 into the top five all-time 30 day span of snowiest periods in Southeast Michigan records. Also, Detroit saw 8.8" of snow from January 25-27, which also put the 30-day span ending 1/28/2014 into the top five.

Snowiest 30-Day Periods (Amount and Date Ending) - Through January 31, 2014
  Detroit Area Flint Area
1 45.7" 3/5/1900* 38.7" 2/24/1967
2 44.0" 3/23/1900* 36.8" 1/6/2014
3 40.6" 2/25/1908 35.6" 1/3/2001
4 39.9" 1/28/2014* 34.7" 2/12/2008
5 37.3" 1/6/2014* 34.4" 2/26/2011

*While both of these 30 day spans include some of the same snowfall events, they are both included since the ending dates are more than 15 days apart.

 

How about for the entire 2013-2014 snow season through the end of January?  At Detroit, this has been the snowiest start to a winter on record through January 31.  This year is in the top 5 for Flint.

Snowiest Starts to a Snow Season Through January
  Detroit Area Flint Area
1 55.8" (2013-14) 60.1" (1975-76)
2 53.6" (1977-78) 55.4" (2008-09)
3 48.8" (2008-09) 52.6" (1951-52)
4 47.5" (1974-75) 51.5" (1966-67)
5 45.3" (1929-30) 51.4" (2013-14)

 

How about snow depth?  There has been at least 2" of snow depth every day this month at Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw.  2014 is the 18th time this has occurred in Saginaw and the 9th time in Flint, but just the 3rd time in Detroit.  Also, Detroit has had 24 days this month with at least 6" snow depth, which is a new record.

 COLD

January 2014 has placed into the top 10 coldest Januarys of all time and the top 20 coldest months of all time at Detroit and Flint.

January Temperature Stats
Location January Normal

January 2014

Coldest January Since (Year) January 2014 Ranking Coldest Month Since (Year) All-Time Coldest Month Ranking
Detroit Area 25.6 16.4 12.8 (1977) 6th 16.3 (Feb. 1978) T-11th
Flint Area 22.4 15.6 14.5 (2009) T-7th 14.5 (Jan. 2009) T-10th
Saginaw 22.2 16.0 14.9 (2009) 14th 14.9 (Jan. 2009) 24th

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 winter.

Below-Zero Days          

 

Location Number of Days Below Zero this Winter Through Jan. 31
Most Days Below Zero Since (Season and Number of Days) Number of Winter Seasons to Have 10 or More Days Below Zero Average Number of Days Below Zero in a Season Record (Season)
Detroit Area 10 12 (1993-94) 13 3.6 21 (1884-85)
Flint Area 13 14 (2003-04) 26 7.4 28 (1962-63)
Saginaw 8 9 (2008-09) 23 6.7 25 (1962-63)

                                  

 



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