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Detroit Snow Record Falls: 133-Year-Old Mark Broken By Unusually Snowy Season

By Jon Erdman
Published: April 21, 2014
  

Wet snow falling late Monday night into tax deadline day Tuesday shattered Detroit's long-standing seasonal snowfall record.

Through April 17, a total of 94.9 inches of snow had been measured in the 2013-14 season at Detroit's Metro Airport, topping the previous record snowiest season, 93.6 inches set in 1880-81.

This is more than double their average seasonal snowfall of 44.1 inches.

While located in the Great Lakes region, Detroit does not pick up heavy lake-effect snow, as they are located too far east of Lake Michigan and to the west and north of Lake Erie.

According to the National Weather Service in Romulus, Mich., here are some other notables about the 2013-14 winter season in the Motor City:

  • Record streak of days with at least 1 inch of snow cover: (77 straight days ending on Mar. 17)
  • Snowiest single month on record: (39.1 inches in January 2014; almost 89 percent of their average snow for an entire season)
  • Coldest November-March period since 1911-12: (Fourth-coldest on record)
  • Most days with highs failing to rise above freezing since 1903-04: (79 days; third-most on record for any season)
  • Most days with lows below zero since 1983-84: (13 days; ties for seventh-most in any season)

Not to be outdone, Flint, Mich. also shattered its previous record snowiest season set in 1974-75, measuring a total of 83.9 inches of seasonal snow through Thursday, April 17.

Earlier this season, several other cities in the Midwest, and one location in the High Plains, also set seasonal snowfall records.

  • Toledo, Ohio: Old record from 1977-78 was 73.1 inches
  • Spooner, Wisc.: Old record from 1898-99 was 95.5 inches
  • Hayward, Wisc.: Old record from 1982-83 was 106.3 inches
  • Rhinelander, Wisc.: Old record from 1938-39 was 107 inches
  • Petoskey, Mich.: Old record from 1970-71 was 183.9 inches
  • Peoria, Ill.:  Old record from 2010-11 was 52.5 inches
  • Billings, Mont.: First greater than 100-inch snow season on record dating to 1934

MORE: Vintage Winter Wear

British writer Arthur Conan Doyle with a party of friends on a winter holiday, circa 1910. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


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