Last year at this time, 70.5 inches of snow had fallen in our area.
“We have an extra 50 inches this year,” said National Weather Service meteorologist John Kowaleski. “They’re bonus inches, if you want to think of it that way, but I’m not sure everyone wants to think of it as a bonus.”
Thursday’s high is expected to hit 42, the warmest since mid-January. Tuesday (41 in Muskegon) was the first non-freezing day in February.
“We’ll see just about the whole kitchen sink on Thursday,” Kowaleski said. “The thunderstorms will be pretty hit and miss, but it’s maybe the first sign of spring when we start drawing up some good Gulf moisture. It will be here for a couple of days, then we’ll return back to the same old, same old — but at least we got a glimpse.”
The meteorologist said it’s been the worst winter he recalls since the winter of 1978-79. That season, a total of 122.9 inches of snow fell at the Muskegon County Airport, which has the closest official weather bureau station to Grand Haven. This year, we’re already at 120.7 inches.
“I’m old enough to remember the '78-'79 winter," Kowaleski said, "and that’s the last time I recall where it was constantly cold, we were constantly getting snow and the snow was getting above your thighs."
The previous year, the winter of 1977-78, blasted 164.8 inches of snow into Muskegon. The all-time record for area snowfall is 174 inches during the 1981-82 season.
This season ranks 16th all-time, but it’s not over yet.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.