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Posted on Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Season climbs to fifth snowiest on record, with Ann Arbor area more than 20 inches above average

By Kelly Davenport

As the snow banks edge up, so does this year's place in the weather record books.

You may be tempted to hold your applause.

This season is now the fifth snowiest on record since 1880, Dennis Kahlbaum, a weather observer for the University of Michigan, said Sunday.

The weekend's 4.5 inches of accumulation puts the season's total at 21.2 inches above average, with 64.7 inches of snow recorded since July 1, 2010. The recording period for the year runs until June 30, 2011, Kahlbaum said.


Meanwhile, February finished up as the second snowiest February on record, receiving 28.8 inches.

The 2007-2008 season remains the record-holder, with a total of 89.8 inches of snow. By March 6 of that season, 76.4 inches had dumped on the Ann Arbor area.

Despite the snowfall and ice Saturday night, Washtenaw County dispatchers reported no serious accidents as of Sunday afternoon.

The National Weather Service's forecast calls for a mix of snow and rain throughout the week, with highs into the 40s.

Stay up-to-date at's weather page.


Sofia Toti

Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 12:14 a.m.

@hillbillydelux I started XC skiing in 1972 & expected up to 3 continuous months of good skiing snow on the ground. When I retired & moved into the Sangre de Cristo mountains for the winters, I got maybe 3 weeks of snow spread over the 5 months of fall/winter/spring. I don't really care why there isn't as much continuous snow in MI as there used to be; I just want it to stop screwing over my ski season.

Dog Guy

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

This is nothing; when I was a little Michigan kid the snow came all the way up to my waist.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

The first rule about living happily through a cold, snowy winter is don't complain. Get outdoors and enjoy it.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Yeh, I guess that all those satellite pictures of the disappearing arctic ice and the increasing rate of glaciers disappearing all over the world are all some English scientist's made up story also as well as the increase of sea temperatures. The cold weather in the US has been explained as being due to the increased snow fall in Siberia, resulting in colder temperatures there which sends more cold air eventually over Alaska and Canada down to us. This increased snow fall in Siberia was predicted also to happen as a result of rising ocean temperatures in the northern latitudes which puts more moisture into the air in those areas. The smaller ice pack in the arctic also puts more moisture into the arctic atmosphere.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

I remember one year when it was still cold right up until June. We had snow up until mid April and then it rained and rained and rained until we left Gettysburg at the end of June. Even there they could not do the reenactments because they were up to their eyeballs in mud. Nice huh? For some reason this year everyone I know is so sick of snow they are ready to move south. Done with winter and ready for a nice summer.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

Boy do I remember that one. (Around twelve years ago?) We went on 'vacation' to the Pocono's. It was a disaster. Cabin on a lake and all, but all we did for the first week was sit in our cabin. Rain, rain, rain. I think the upper mid-west had tons of flooding, too.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

I'll take the snow, although a resident for almost 40 years winters lately are getting colder consistently.

Bob Martel

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

@Hillbillydeluxe, I hear you, but I think we're just getting old!

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

Science has come up with quite a few spectacular concepts that have explained how the world around us works; origin of species, evolution, big bang theory, global warming etc. However, what I still fail to understand, I guess, is that despite record snowfalls and spring thaws, our beloved Great Lakes continue to hemorrhage water levels at an alarming rate?! Did the State Government sell of too much of our fresh water resources to China and Nestle?, how about a story?

Rork Kuick

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

I think hemorrhage is overstated. See <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> for lake Huron. Explanations might be: 1) The watershed is huge - how much rain has there been the last 10 years on average over the whole watershed, and how long and warm has it been hundreds of miles north of here? 2) Response is slow. Average or slightly above average rains won't reverse the drop easily. 3) Memory. Groundwater is lower, at something of a deficit. Additional water goes back into the ground to replenish that. For me that is particularly shocking in our very local area, where more precipitation has made wet land water levels rise, but not by much. It's gonna take years I think. Some places with fish in them in 1995 had turned into meadows by 2005 but have a little water in them again now. 4) I didn't check if outflow from St. Clair River has been increased by dredging, but recall that was being debated. You can check Lake Erie levels on the NOAA web-site I pointed to as well. I can't see a smoking gun.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

How many of the top ten snowfall seasons have been in the most recent 10, 20 years? Climate change deniers are funny; if science and the scientific method didn't work, they wouldn't have computers and the internet, but if that science starts to point to something they don't like, scientists must be wrong. Greater precipitation, particularly in the winter, was a prediction from climate models at least a decade ago. It was around then that I told AA Council they should expect heavier snowfall. You could read that right out of the reports of the time. Whatever, I like snow!


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

This is the fifth snowiest winter ever, I guess I'll move to Florida. Oh wait, they get hurricanes and in the summer it gets into the 90's and stays there with humidity in the 90's. So maybe it's California. No, they have earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, and the Santa Ana winds. My point is anyplace you live has unpleasant weather or hazards that you are going to have to put up with so just try to make the beat of it. I will admit though it's tough at times.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Try having to work outdoors in the cold, wind, sleet, rain and snow all winter. That'll completely change your attitude toward snow too.

John B.

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

@Morris: Radrick Farms is OK, but Hudson Mills MetroPark on North Territorial Road is much, much better for XC skiing, in my opinion. You should check it out some time.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

Take up cross country skiing! It is an all ages activity, cheap, [fun aerobic exercise ] easy to find a place for it [Radrick Farms is the best], can be short or long time even after work, and IT COMPLETELY CHANGES YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD SNOW. This winter has been a superb one for cross-country

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 10:58 a.m.

At this point, they're reduced to simply name-calling anyone who even says, &quot;hey, wait a minute, your 'consensus' is a small core of Englishmen who have a lot to gain with these dire predictions.&quot; The long-term tree-ring analysis is particularly suspect, and there's so much based on it. Of course, whether it's true or not, it has nothing to do with snowfall in Michigan this winter. Any more than Algore's noted hurricane Armageddon predictions.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:22 a.m.

Well -- first things first. You cannot have consensus in science -- it either is or it is not. A Theory that can be proven by a particular methodology has to be repeatable or replicated by other scientist. Global Warming theory has not been proven -- the methodology applied by the now discredited scientists (remember the emails). There is great debate and therefore not a proven theory. With that said -- there is no global warming. The records that are being broken are in the early 1900s -- was global warming occurring then? Do all the environmental zealots remember when they came out with global cooling in the 1970s -- that was false as well. Just comical to see the eviros attempting to justify their position with nothing but slight of hand and trickery -- no real facts. Do you guys believe the Wizard of Oz?

Rork Kuick

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Actually, science merely fails to disprove some theories (the better ones). I think there may be confusion between &quot;it's not warmer&quot; and &quot;it's not due to humans&quot;. I did hear those pictures of shrinking arctic ice were all faked though - a speaker at that flat earth conference told all about it ;)


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

Nah, we just got back from the flat earth conference. Fantastic. Same folks who started the Earth Is Entering New Ice Age organized this one. My astrologist talked with my second cousin who is a Moonie who is helping with the upcoming NASA fake moon landing lecture series. Should be fascinating.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Another armchair&quot; scientist&quot; tries to disprove the obvious using the usual conservative radio drivel. Hurry or you'll be late for your flat earth convention.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Hear! Hear! Heardoc.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:55 a.m.

More precipitation is on the way this week. Check out weather dot com. A big storm is brewing in CO, slated to potentially gather steam and move into SE MI by Wed, before continuing on to the east coast. This area will probably see rain and/or ice, but with strong winds, it could be miserable driving. The storm this week won't add to the snowfall total for this year, hopefully, but could bring some unpleasant conditions mid week.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

Average total snowfall in April for Ann Arbor 2 1/2 inches


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:40 p.m.

ugh! 4/1/1970 An April Fool's Day snowstorm drops 10 inches of snow on Lansing. Another 7 inches of snow falls the next day. 4/4/2003 Heavy rain from thunderstorms falls into a layer of cold air near the ground and freezes on contact, creating sheaths of ice up to 3 inches thick that brings down thousands of tree limbs. persistent cold temperatures keep the heavy ice on the trees for 4 days after the storm. Crews came from four different states to help local utility companies restore power. 4/5/1982 Arctic air pours into Lower Michigan in the wake of a snowstorm and lake effect snows pile up over a foot across western Lower Michigan. The 12 inches of snow at Muskegon makes this the snowiest April day on record there. 4/7/1982 Temperatures plunge to near zero as arctic high pressure persists over the Great Lakes states. Lansing falls to 2 below zero for a record low for the date and the latest sub-zero temperature on record. Muskegon falls to one degree above zero and Grand Rapids to 3 above for their coldest April temperatures on record. 4/8/1938 A snowstorm drops several inches of snow across southern Lower Michigan. Lansing sets a record for the day with 5.1 inches and Grand Rapids with 4.3 inches. 4/9/1973 A snowstorm dumps 3 to 8 inches of snow across much of Lower Michigan. 5.2 inches at Lansing and 4.4 inches at Grand Rapids. 4/16/1961 From 6 to 12 inches of snow falls across southwest Lower Michigan. The storm drops 12.2 inches at Grand Rapids, the heaviest April snowfall on record there. 4/24/1980 Only two days after setting record highs in the 80s, a record snowfall blankets Lower Michigan. Grand Rapids sets a record for the date with 2.4 inches of snow, 4/25/1976 After four days in the 80s from the 15th to the 18th, temperatures are held in the 30s today and heavy wet snow falls. Lansing sets a record for the date with 4 inches of snow, as does Grand Rapids with 3 inches.

zip the cat

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

This is the way it used to snow,yrs ago We've been getting off easy the last few yrs. There are 2 seasons in michigan Winter and road construction . If its a problem for you move or tolerate it like everyone else does. Some of our worst past yrs snows are in march and april Your usually safe the 1st of may.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Johnnya2 My mistake I really am getting senile. I think we are in agreement.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

What I asked for johnnyA2 was some proof that we get lots of heavy snow in April! Average total snowfall in April for Ann Arbor 2 1/2 inches! Heavy snow in April IS NOT the norm! I do not understand your point? I never argued that the total snowfall was or was not like this!


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 12:23 a.m.

No. This is not the way it used to snow &quot;years ago&quot;. This is the fifth snowiest in history. The worst was in 2007-08. This is not typical or the good old days. Your memory is diluted to what the reality is.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:30 p.m.

I know we had about 19 inches St Patrick's day 1973 I believe. And numerous heavy snows in March. But I do not remember any Heavy snows in April. Can anyone give me some dates in April with heavy snow?

John B.

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:03 p.m.

OK, time for all of the usual climate-change deniers and snow-removal complainers to chime in again. ;-)