Grand Rapids Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

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This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Grand Rapids, Michigan has snow.

There are data and descriptions here of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that Grand Rapids usually gets. There are also monthly and yearly counts of the days that the city normally has heavy snowstorms and deep snow accumulated on the ground. Plus there's information on when Grand Rapids can expect the first and last snowfalls of the season.

All the numbers are averages, based on climate data gathered from 1981 to 2010 at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

How Often it Snows in Grand Rapids

This first table lists monthly and yearly totals for amount of snow and how many days it snows at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres).

Average total snowfall and days with fresh snow in Grand Rapids
Days   Inches Centimetres
14.9 January 20.8   52.8
10.7 February 14.8   37.6
  6.4 March   8.3   21.1
  2.0 April   1.8     4.6
  0.1 May   0.0     0.0
  0.5 October   0.5     1.3
  4.2 November   6.8   17.3
13.3 December 21.9   55.6
52.1 Year 74.9 190.2

These averages don't show how much the snowfall in Grand Rapids varies from year to year.

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 27.8 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 11.7 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 27.7 inches, while the lightest years get less than 11.2 inches.

Snow in February ranges from over 20.1 inches in heavy snowfall years to under 7.6 inches in light years.

When Grand Rapids Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

Grand Rapids' first snowfall of winter usually arrives in November. But about once every three or four years, the city gets at least a dusting of snow in October.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in April, although at least one in four Aprils receive no fresh snow. Very rarely a few snowflakes fall in May.

Grand Rapids is normally free of snow every year from June to September.

How Many Snowstorms Grand Rapids Gets

Just over half the days with snowfall in Grand Rapids end up with just a skiff of less than an inch of new snow left on the ground. For 23 days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals at least an inch.

Snowstorms of over five inches a day usually occur two or three times a year. But major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day are rare events, that don't happen every year. Storms this severe normally show up only in November or December.

Number of days per month and year on average in Grand Rapids with a total snowfall of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
  6.9 2.1 January 0.6 0.0
  4.6 1.6 February 0.4 0.0
  2.2 0.8 March 0.4 0.0
  0.5 0.2 April 0.0 0.0
  0.2 0.0 October 0.0 0.0
  2.0 0.7 November 0.2 0.1
  6.6 2.1 December 0.8 0.1
23.0 7.5 Year 2.4 0.2

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Grand Rapids

For nearly two-thirds of winter days, Grand Rapids has at least an inch of snow on the ground.

Snow mostly accumulates during January and February. Typically, on two or three days in January, another three or four in February, plus a day or two in December, the snow covering Grand Rapids gets to ten or more inches deep.

Average total days per month and year in Grand Rapids with snow depth of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches on the ground
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
23.2 17.8 January 12.1 2.7
17.3 11.9 February   9.1 3.5
  7.6   4.2 March   2.5 0.3
  0.7   0.3 April   0.1 0.0
  0.1   0.0 October   0.0 0.0
  3.0   1.1 November   0.4 0.1
16.2   9.2 December   4.8 1.4
68.1 44.5 Year 29.0 8.0
Reference

National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.

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