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Posted on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Snow in April? How about May? It's not unusual for Ann Arbor

By Cindy Heflin


Pedestrians take shelter from the snow and cold under umbrellas on East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor Wednesday afternoon.

Melanie Maxwell |

Yes, that was snow falling in Ann Arbor on April 24, 2013, exactly 34 days after the official arrival of spring.

The snow was expected to continue for at least another hour or two, Deb Elliott, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township said about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday. No accumulation is expected but that might seem like small consolation for the cold weary.

“We don’t like it anymore than you do,” she said.

But as unpleasant as the weather is, it’s not all that unusual, Elliott said.

"We have had snow — at least flurries — occur into the month of May," she said.

In fact, the latest date for measurable snowfall in Ann Arbor was .5 inches on May 13, 191,2, said University of Michigan weather observer Dennis Kahlbaum. Last year, we had .2 inches on April 11.

Although this month so far has been colder than normal, we can be grateful that it’s not as bad as it was in 1874. That year, the average high for the month was 37.6 in the Detroit metro area. That makes this year’s average high of 54.2 degrees seem pretty good.

The normal high for this date is around 62 degrees. We’re not going to see anything like that until at least Friday. Temperatures fell throughout the morning Wednesday, Elliott said. The thermometer stood at 35 degrees at 12:40 p.m.

The forecast called for rain and snow showers in the afternoon, turning to all rain after 2 p.m. The low was expected to reach 31 Wednesday night.

Thursday, it will be warmer with a high near 50, but we’ll still have clouds and probably some showers.

Friday looks better, with mostly sunny skies and a high of about 58 degrees. And a pleasant weekend is in store with sunny or partly sunny skies and highs in the mid-60s.

At Downtown Home and Garden, better weather can't come fast enough. Business has been slow so far this spring, said owner Mark Hodesh.

"We make jokes about wearing down. I compliment all the ladies on their nice Northface jackets."

Customers are antsy too, Hodesh said. "A guy came in and he said 'I can’t stand it any longer,' and he bought a nice new hoe, just to be doing something."

For updated weather forecasts and conditions anytime, check's weather page.


Usual Suspect

Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 1:06 a.m.

Oh, no! Bubble umbrellas are back in style?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:29 p.m.

Thats nothing. I was in Toronto one year in July? Yes, it snowed. One inch of that white stuff. So I am not complaining mind you. But still, yes, I am done with winter.

John Agno

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

This is the year that we are meant to fill the Great Lakes up....once again.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

John, that's a good thing as the Great Lakes could use it.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

I can handle the weather, I just wish the weather report would be at least marginally accurate. And by marginally accurate I simply mean don't tell me it's going to be 50 degrees but then actually snow all day.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

It's been awhile since I've complained about sensationalist headlines on, but how is 100 years ago not unusual?

Urban Sombrero

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

I agree with Ash about the fruit trees. Last year was devastating to them. I have a patient who has family members who own a nursery up near Traverse City. Last year's early warming, then hard frost DEVASTATED their trees. Several were killed off. And, it's not like they're easy to replace. Plant one now and it won't bear fruit for several years. It's a huge tragedy for people who use that as their source of income. But, about snow in April and first husband and I were married on May 3. We were together almost 15 years. In that time, we had several anniversaries where there was snow on the ground. Yeah, it's a bummer, but this is Michigan. It's not unheard of. My tulips are blooming, though! Spring is coming! It's just taking its time. :)


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

ugh, I forgot to end the sentence with a question mark. I guess I am the grammar police. sigh.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:04 p.m.

I don't mean to sound like the grammar police, but could somebody please change "191,2" to 1912.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

I don't mean to sound like the grammar police, but...I'll do it anyways


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

I remember having a snowball fight on the 13th of May in about 1967. Just enough wet snow to make snowballs.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 7:14 p.m.

I remember snow aout 4 inches in early May one year. Melted the next day. Sorry I do not remember the year!!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.

I'm hoping this will be a better year for the fruit trees, though. Last year was too warm too soon and they all got zapped by some cold.

Ann English

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

I'm hoping we don't have a drought like last summer.