GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The first two decades of the 21st century have featured dramatically different winter seasons in terms of snow totals.
Three of the first 10 years of the decade featured more than 100 inches of snow, with a fourth season less than 2 inches shy of the 100-inch mark.
A couple of interesting highlights to note during the snowiest of those years came as the 2001-2002 snow season ended with 105.2 inches. Nearly half of that came in an eight-day stretch at the end of December.
The winter season of 2007-2008 had a very late start, with the first inch of snow not falling until after Christmas (Dec. 30). But that winter ended up as the snowiest of the decade, with 107 inches of snow falling that season.
The very next year would be the final in the decade to top the 100-inch mark, with 104.9 inches for the season, nearly half of which fell in December.
The seasonal average for the 10-year stretch was 88.4 inches: a foot above average. For those of us forecasting West Michigan weather at the time, thoughts of a very snowy century dominated.
It was a completely different story for the next decade. The decade began with near-average snow: 74 inches fell in the 2010-2011 season.
Only one season of the decade topped the 100-inch mark: 2013-2014 — and that was the snowiest season of the century, with 116 inches falling that season. It’s interesting to note 82.3 inches of that season’s snow fell through Feb. 3, with the final inch of snow coming on April 14.
Four seasons that decade featured less than 65 inches of snow, with two seasons coming in at less than 55 inches. The entire decade ended up with a seasonal average of 71.9 inches.
It was a dismal start to this decade in terms of snow, with the 2020-2021 season picking up a meager 46.1 inches of snow. Of course, with the potential for colder air this winter season and the area being long overdue for a snowy season, snow enthusiasts can look forward to more shoveling, sledding and snowmobiling in the season to come.