GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The picture below compares the snow in Benton Township, Berrien County in 1978 after the famous Blizzard of ’78 and the snow in February 2014.

Benton Township snow 2014 1978_1548563723969.jpg.jpg
the snow in Benton Township, Berrien County in 1978 after the famous Blizzard of ’78 and the snow in February 2014.

Here’s the five greatest season snowfalls in Grand Rapids history.

Snowiest Winters in Grand Rapids

First, note that the years are rather recent. I think part of this is that we measure snow better than we did 100 years ago. In the 19th century, sometimes weather observers went out just once or twice a day. They may stick a ruler in the ground and if there was more snow than the day before, that became the snowfall for the day.

This has certainly been a snowy winter in Grand Rapids (other areas haven’t had quite as much snow). We’re up to 81.5″ at the official weather station for Grand Rapids at the Ford Airport.

Record snowfall in Grand Rapids during the snowstorm from the 17th to the 19th

We had 28″ of snow in November 2022. That’s nearly four times the average November snowfall of 6.9″ and second only to the 31″ we had in 2014.

The snowfall measured around 9.25″ in Jamestown Township around 11 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2022. (Courtesy Alice Teunis)

December brought 39.6″ of snow to Grand Rapids. What’s interesting is that we had less than 1″ of snow during the first two weeks of the month. We had two heavy snow events in the second half of the month. From Dec. 16 through Dec. 17, we had 13.1″ of snow and from Dec. 22 to Dec. 25, we had 24.5″ of snow. Grand Rapids had 17″ of snow on the ground Christmas morning. The only Christmas with more snow on the ground was 22″ in 1951.

During January, 13.5″ of snow fell and that was below the average snowfall for January of 22.6″. During the first half of February, we’ve continued the below-average snowfall trend.


The snowiest winter in Grand Rapids was the winter of 1961-62. It wasn’t just Michigan that got hit with heavy snow. Check out the picture above from Nashville, Tennessee. They had a combination of heavy snow and freezing rain. Here’s a picture of the Michigan Football Stadium after a snowstorm in December 1951.

From Nov. 3 to Nov. 7 (five days), Grand Rapids had 23.4″ of snow. Then it warmed up to 61 on Nov. 13 and the snow melted. Dec. 1 to Dec. 7 was an incredibly warm week with an AVERAGE high temperature of 56. There were two days with highs in the 60s that week! Then we REALLY got dumped on. Grand Rapids had 51.3″ of snowfall from Dec. 9 through Dec. 25. The snow kept coming. The last significant snowfall that winter was 10.2″ on April 4 to April 5. That winter of 1951-52 brought 132″ of snow to the Grand Rapids Airport and 144″ to downtown Grand Rapids.

Look at the difference from Feb 2014 to 2022 in Allendale, Michigan, on 84th Ave.

Our second snowiest year was 2013-14. Grand Rapids had 116″ of snow that winter. Holland had the most that winter with 152″. At my house, the LEAST amount of snow we had on the ground in February was 17″. We were worried about a repeat of the flood on the Grand River that we had in April 2013. In 2014, the warmest temperature in Grand Rapids from Jan. 15 through Feb. 17 was 34 – so we didn’t have a thaw and the snow just piled up.

Snowstorm of Dec. 16, 2007 – with thundersnow, up to 12″ of snow in Cass and W. Branch Counties. This storm produced a two-day total of 13.1″ in Grand Rapids and 7.7″ in Lansing.

In 3rd place for snowiest winters is 2007-08. That winter the heaviest snow came later in winter. We had 41.6″ of snow in February and then we had 6.6″ on March 21, the first day of spring.

In 4th place is the winter of 2001-02 That year heavy snow fell from Christmas to New Year’s Day. We had a whopping 51.6″ of snow in Grand Rapids from Dec. 23 to Dec. 31. This was light, fluffy lake-effect snow that settled down. By the end of the month I had about 18″ on the ground at my house. The high temperatures from Dec. 24-31 were all between 20 and 26.

Fifth place goes to 2008-09 with 104.8″ of snowfall. More than half of that (54.6″) came during the month of December. However, the snow ended early, with only 1/2″ of snow falling after Feb. 21.