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Detroit sets record for longest snow cover

Since this photo was taken on February 19th, Lake Michigan set a record of 93.29 percent ice cover on March 8th.
Since this photo was taken on February 19th, Lake Michigan set a record of 93.29 percent ice cover on March 8th.Photo by NASA/Getty Images

New winter weather records continue to be set for Detroit.

The latest weather statistic went into the record books Tuesday, when the Detroit Office of the National Weather Service announced that the streak of consecutive days with snow cover of 1 inch or greater ended on March 17th at 77 days. The new record exceeds the previous streak of 73 days that ended on March 15, 1978.

This record joins others that have been set this winter, including snowiest month and second snowiest season for Detroit so far, snowiest winter ever for Ann Arbor, longest consecutive snow cover and snowiest January for Flint, and most ice cover for Lake Michigan.

January of this year was not only the snowiest January on record for Detroit, but the snowiest month ever for the Motor City. The month's 39.1 inches surpassed both 1978's record for the month of 29.6 inches, but also February 1908's 38.4 inches for any month since records have been kept.

Detroit's season total of 90.7 inches places it second among all cumulative snowfalls for the city behind 1880-1881's 93.6 inches. Only 3 inches more need to fall to set a new record.

While Detroit is currently short of a new record, Ann Arbor blew through its previous maximum last week. The Ann Arbor News reported on March 12th that 2013-14 is now the snowiest winter in Ann Arbor history. As of a week ago, 90.3 inches of snow has fallen during the 2013-14 season, topping the record of 89.8 inches set in the 2007-08 season.

Flint also experienced its snowiest January ever, with 32.9 inches total, beating the old record of 28.5 inches set in 1976. Flint continues to set new records for consecutive days with snow cover of at least one inch, with the current streak at 100 days and counting. This is well above the previous record of 78 days set in 1963.

Finally, the Detroit Free Press republished an Associated Press report that Lake Michigan's ice cover set a record of 93.29 percent on Saturday, March 8th, surpassing the previous high of 93.1 percent in 1977.

As for Detroit breaking its previous record for total snowfall accumulation, that's still within reach. Two storms will pass through the area Wednesday night into Thursday morning and again Friday night into Saturday. The National Weather Service is currently predicting one-half inch of accumulation for the first storm and two to four inches for the second. Only three inches are required to set a new record.