Detroit not only buried under debt, but record snow too!

Paging David Viner: NWS reports snow so far in 2014 has far exceeded the worst winter in 1978. In Detroit, 6 of the last 14 years are in the top 20 snowiest winters on record.

You’ve probably all hear how Detroit is buried under massive debt due to mismanagement by the political party in power. Now, they are not only buried in debt, they are buried in snow. Let’s see them dig themselves out of that too. I’m betting the plowing budget is already plowed.

From the NWS office in Detroit, a stunning graph going back to 1874:

The Long Cold and Snowy Winter Continues: Updated Records and Statistics


We have already discussed the record January snowfall in Detroit and Flint as well as the snowiest starts to the winter season through January.  As we move into February, we can start looking at seasonal type of records.  The past 10 to 15 years have had some active and snowy winters.  In fact this winter puts 6 of the last 14 years into the top 20 snowiest winters on record.

Seasonal Snowfall Stats

Location Seasonal Normal Winter 2013-14 (through February 6) Record (Year) Current Seasonal Ranking
Detroit Area 42.5″ 67.9″ 93.6″ (1880-81) 7th
Flint Area 47.4″ 62.3″ 82.9″ (1974-75) 13th
Saginaw 45.5″ 43.7″ 87.2″ (1966-67)

Most Consecutive Days with Snow Cover (1 inch or greater) through February 7th

There is a deep snow pack over Southeast Michigan and more below average temperatures expected through much of the upcoming month.  Our current streaks are likely to reach the top five and potentially challenge higher places. (Ending Date in Parentheses)

  Detroit Area (only available back to 1948)
Flint Area
1 74 days (3/15/1978) 88 days (3/3/1963)
2 64 (2/8/2001) 81 (3/22/1978)
3 54 (2/11/1976) 67 (2/9/2001)
4 48 (2/17/1948) 65 (2/17/1948)
5 45 (2/4/1984) 63 (2/18/1930)
Currently 12th longest streak at 39 days 6th longest streak at 61 days


December was below average for temperatures.  January placed in the top 15 Januarys and now February is off to a cold start.  How does the winter of 2013-14 compare to other winters.

Temperature Stats

Location Winter 2013-14 (through Feb. 6th) Coldest Winter Since (through Feb 6th) 2013-14 Ranking (through Feb 6th) All-time Coldest (through Feb 6th)
Detroit Area 21.4 1984
9th 16.6 (1918)
Flint Area 19.7 2009 8th 14.2 (1977)
Saginaw 18.9 1984
7th 13.7 (1918)


h/t to Steve Goddard for the NWS link.


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The month after the next, the winter after the last.

Claude Harvey

I wonder what the cold has done for Detroit’s violent crime rate. Hard to get off a shot wearing mittens.

From great grand fathers memory: Texas
1,000 upon 1,000’s of cattle, sheep, goats, horses frozen Feb. 13-14 1899.
Registered temp Tulia Texas in the panhandle. 31 degrees below zero.
Laguna [Madre] froze. The old ones before the ones from europe came told of much colder times in the older times when the people first came to the now American Southwest.
It will come once more in time.

Panhandle has been cold year after year for decades. Some record from way back might be a nice anecdote, but anybody from Amarillo ain’t nearly so stupid as to think winter there is mild.
Better anecdotes include ice storms in Houston. That’s a weather “event.”

It’s an interesting piece — but has nothing to do with climate change one way or another. Cold weather is just weather — now, if it were hot weather you were talking about I could see that as proof of climate change….
But this is just cold weather and of no particular interest…
PS: I have to go out and shovel snow again — catcha later eh?

Claude Harvey

Answered my own question. According to, “The Latest Crime & Police News from Metro Detroit. RSS …. Detroit homicides decrease 50 percent in January compared to 2013.”


And the US was supposed to be snow free by 2010?

Alan Robertson

Global Warming causes more snow because warmer air holds more moisture.
Climate Change causes more extreme weather events, such as record cold.
Temps are rising, official government graphs clearly show warming trend.
Some of the warmest years ever recorded are happening now.
It’s only weather. You are guilty and must pay. mwahahaaa


But everyone knows the global warming is being sequestered in the deep oceans, magically transported there via tiny worm holes surrounding the omnipotent CO2 molecule, waiting to jump out in a cataclysmic El Nino event, resulting in the extinction of the entire planet. Yeah, that’s the ticket..

Alan Robertson

WillR says:
February 9, 2014 at 10:04 am
It’s an interesting piece — but has nothing to do with climate change one way or another. Cold weather is just weather — now, if it were hot weather you were talking about I could see that as proof of climate change….
But this is just cold weather and of no particular interest…
PS: I have to go out and shovel snow again — catcha later eh?
Clapping hands here, just for your post and putting you on the Gold Star list.
Ps In Canada, is it pronounced hoseur?

The “Climate Change” , CO2 kills cult =’s Life Out Of Balance.

Bob Diaz

Come spring the snow will be gone; however their debt will never melt away!

john robertson

But I thought those same leaders of Detroit were praying for tons of white powder to cover their fiscal ineptitude with.
Detroit is fascinating, the logical conclusion of progressive policy and kleptocratic government.
Given one leads to the other, I guess they are one and the same.
Sad, I almost feel guilty mocking their weather adventure.

Now I heard a prominent Democrat say the real reason for Detroit’s massive indebtedness was RACISM! Ironically, the same reason there’s so much snow this year, What color is snow, after all? Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!

Alan Robertson says:
February 9, 2014 at 10:13 am
Clapping hands here, just for your post and putting you on the Gold Star list.
Ps In Canada, is it pronounced hoseur?
Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!
Finally a Gold Star in Climate Change!
Nope, it’s just hoser. Only we Englishers are allowed to be Hosers TM Parry Sound Hosers Association. Quebec is far more fashionable and in tune with all things glittery. Across the Great Divide (Riviere Outaouais) we people west of the Ottawa River are a far duller bunch.
Cheers! And as Our Premier says — Cold? Hydro Bill too high? wear a sweater — eh?


“I wonder what the cold has done for Detroit’s violent crime rate. Hard to get off a shot wearing mittens.”
Beautiful. +10

Mike Maguire

Growing up in Detroit in the 50’s-70’s, I remember the previous record snowy January in 1978. Many of us older folks that lived in that region at the time can still remember the great blizzard late in January, 1978.
There are many interesting facts related to that blizzard. As a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, we were treated to well over a foot of snow and it was the first time in history that the University closed because of the weather. I believe that Dr. Roy Spencer was in his senior year up there at the time.
Similar weather occurred in Lansing where my 2 sisters were attending Michigan State University, which also closed because of nearly 18 nches of snow.
Ann Arbor and Lansing MI received almost all their precip in the form of snow, however, farther east, snow amounts dropped off with the intense circulation wrapping warm air in from east to west. With temperatures getting several degrees above freezing, farther east, it rained from much of the event.
At Metro Airport, just west of Detroit, I think the snow total was 8.8″ and farther east, at the city airport only 4.4 inches fell with the temperature climbing to 37 degrees on January 26, 1978.
The official records sited above are from Metro Airport(DTW), so the great blizzard’s heaviest snows were 25+ miles farther west of that location.

Pamela Gray

“Anthropogenic Global Snowing” officially replaces Anthropogenic Extreme Weather which replaced Anthropogenic Global Change which replaced Anthropogenic Global Weirding (thank god) which replaced Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Centuries from now we will be known in the history books as having suffered from Anthropogenic Neoscientific Global Severe Tirades against fellow humans, otherwise known as angst.


According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

Massive fail.
Snow in Detroit is good, it covers up the burned out houses and abandoned autos.

John F. Hultquist

Nicely done – good summary. Thanks.
We have friends in that area. They are not happy.
There is nothing wrong with Detroit. They need to be awarded the next Olympic Games and have a 50 Billion dollar investment of other people’s money. We are all going to pay anyway so why not get something for our sacrifice. On the other hand, they have already turned off many of the street lights and other services so why not just turn off all the rest and restore the land as open prairie. That might be worth a visit in 30 years or so.

Leon Brozyna

Is that all??
What Detroit’s gotten to date would be an average snowfall for Buffalo. Of course, there’s nothing average about this winter as we’re also well ahead of where we should be by now as we push to 95″ for the season so far (should be around 67″).

Alan Robertson

Pamela Gray says:
February 9, 2014 at 10:50 am
Good Job !!!


One of the real problems they are having in Detroit now are the number of broken water lines. The latest one flooding an intersection and trapping folks in their cars. I think the number is on the order of 700.
Up where I live in the UP they are numerous places well ahead of average snow totals and well below average temps.

Detroit could blame their fiancial woes on snow removal costs and apply for Federal disaster relief. I mean, everyone knows that Detroit is a continuing disaster, right?

Mike Maguire

Fortunately for Detroit and much of the country, a weather pattern change is in store.
A powerful Pacific jet stream will blow mild, oceanic air masses across the country as this week progresses. However, most of this week, in the Detroit area the milder air will not be allowed to make much headway, being cut off by the old/cold pattern, featuring some upper troughing and what has been an endless parade of reinforcing cold fronts.
At least the intensity of the cold will mellow out and by late this week we’re done with the sub zero stuff for awhile. During week 2, as the new pattern strengthens, there is hope for a thaw.
With Detroit currently reporting 17 inches of snow on the ground and this milder air having to travel a great distance over snow covered terrain, it will not be easy to warm up.
What would do the trick quickly, is being in the warm sector of a big storm and getting heavy rains……….which would rapidly melt a great deal of snow.
Nothing like that in the week 2 forecast now……………..and most of this Winter, the actual weather pattern we’ve seen has consistently verified COLDER than models, so we may have to dial in some additional cooling at some point. However, this new pattern is a different one than that we’ve seen so far in the cold/snowy Winter of 2013/14.
The West Coast from N. CA to OR/WA will get some needed precip!!


Mike Maguire says:
February 9, 2014 at 10:48 am
Thanx for the memory jog. I lived in AA then near the old airport, and used the A.A.R.R. tracks to take a straight line walking into town after that big snow, because they were slightly elevated most of the distance, so less deep in snow and therefore less effort moving forward.

Tanks, A. Good reporting.
Yesterday Joe Bastardi said there is more snow and cold from Alaska to come next week; Warmth for the South, but cold for the North.
See for the weekly public forecast video

Stephen Richards

Ask Bettsy to contact his old mate Viner and let him know ‘ YOUR a T$$SSer’


Not too far from Detroit , Chicago , has had 19 days when the lows have been below zero , tying a record going back to the winter of 1872-1873. The city may [break] this record overnight. The most low days below zero was set in 1884-1885 . So we are going back 142 years in cold extremes . Annual and Winter temperatures in United States have been cooling now for 1 5 years and we have not even reached the trough of the current 30 year cool phase of the 60/70 climate cycle which is likely 2030/2040

Gail Combs

wws says: @ February 9, 2014 at 10:26 am
Now I heard a prominent Democrat say the real reason for Detroit’s massive indebtedness was RACISM!
That right, Clinton gave their jobs to the Chinese….. (I wish I could add a sarc tag)

Chad Wozniak

I wonder how much snow is falling in the un-Happy Valley of State Penn U., aka Reprobate State?

Steve from Rockwood

Meanwhile in England, it’s the wettest winter “ever”. From the quote below check out the last sentence. That should leave a mark.

But Environment Agency chairman Chris Smith, who received a frosty reception when he visited flood-hit areas this week, has faced calls to step down.
On Sunday, the government’s communities minister Eric Pickles, who took over responsibility for the flood response after the environment minister was taken ill, apologised.
“We made a mistake, there’s no doubt about that, and we perhaps have relied too much on the Environment Agency’s advice,” he told the BBC, saying the government now realised rivers should have been dredged to help prevent flooding.
“I’ll apologise unreservedly and I’m really sorry that we took the advice,” he said. “We thought we were dealing with experts.”

Chad Wozniak

@john robertson –
A preview, methinks, of what the current kleptocracy in Washington intends to do to the country as a whole.
At least, when the EPA starts sabotaging power plants they will hit the DC area first. (See CFACT for Dr. Bonner Cohen’s testimony regarding the EPA’s new anti-coal regulations, terming them industrial sabotage.)
Sometimes I think we skeptics are like those Germans in 1932 who saw Hitler coming, fighting against the tidal wave of ignorance and evil intent embodied in global warming alarmism.


Grand Rapids, a fairly fiscally responsible city, blew through their “snow budget” by mid-January. Relentless lake effect and lack of warmth has made snow plowing a non-stop job. Not only is there this cost, but the streets themselves are taking a beating that will require extra $$ to repair. Not to mention the raised possibility of flooding when all this snow melts.


It’s just unbelievable, the joy being expressed as one of our greater cities gets laid low, not only by economics but a weather event.
I take no joy in the situation.
Let’s get things back into perspective.

Henry Clark

The snowfall plot, as can be seen, is not simply the inverse of temperature variation yet somewhat related, like the least snowfall was about when it was warmest in the 1930s. (Since the plot doesn’t show modern temperatures as warmer than the 1930s and shows the double peak history typical of unadjusted data, such appears probably data not adjusted for political correctness yet).
Although a local region need not necessarily follow a similar pattern as broader averages (U.S. or world, annual instead of January), it is of mild interest to observe the plot of Detroit temperature since 1874 shows the usual general pattern superimposed on weather noise:
warming ->
with then a cooling dip a decade into the 20th century ->
followed by rise to the exceptionally warm 1930s-1950s ->
cooling during the 1960s-1970s global cooling scare (weak solar cycle 20 fizzling to its final minimum in 1976) ->
warming during the subsequent global warming scare ->
and subsequently cooling

(The graph may be compared to arctic, U.S., Northern Hemisphere, and world temperature trends and the cause for them meanwhile, like
those plotted in ).

Mike Maguire says:
February 9, 2014 at 11:42 am
The West Coast from N. CA to OR/WA will get some needed precip!!
The rain has been light to moderate and fairly steady for the last 3 days. It was much needed. Burn restrictions had been in place for the last several months, and that was extremely unusual for a rainforest in the middle of winter.

Chad Wozniak

@jim –
By any chance, was the city government in Grand Rapids told by local alarmists that they no longer needed to worry about heavy snow, and if so, did they listen, and fail to prepare adequately? (There are reports that this was the case in Atlanta, helping to leave that city unprepared.)
@u.k. (us) –
No, no joy – just sadness and anger; and foreboding, over the failure of these events to get through the thick skulls of the alarmist crowd. How much longer does this go on before the insanity stops, and how much more damage will it be allowed to do? But then as I keep saying, no amount of contrary evidence is ever even acknowledged to exist, let alone recognized as right, by the ideologue.


Snow is no more they confidently predicted. Now they tell us that more snow is caused by CATASTROPHIC ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING.

That snow outside is what global warming looks like … – The Guardian – George Monbiot

It’s so sad to see formally intelligent people plunging to such depths of insanity and anger.


Here are sure signs of climate change. We need to act now!

Arabian Business Publishing – 19 January 2008
King sends aid to snow-hit Saudi Arabians
…Temperatures reached their lowest point in 30 years, plunging to -2C in the capital, Riyadh, and to -6C in mountainous regions blanketed by snow…
ABC News – May 2009
Saudi Arabia Gets Snow in Midsummer
…They got snow — several inches of it. There was enough to trap thousands of park-goers…
Merco Press – 5 August 2010
Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen
……..reports from landlocked Bolivia indicate that to the east of the country in tropical areas temperatures plummeted to zero causing “millions of dead fish” in rivers that normally flow in an environment of 20 Celsius….
BBC News – 9 March 2010
Snow hits Mediterranean coast
Blizzards have hit the French Mediterranean coast amid warnings of up to 20 inches of snow in Northern Spain…
CSM – 9 January, 2010
Snow in Florida: Big chill culling unwanted iguanas and pythons
…the extended cold threatened rare native species like turtles and the Florida manatee…
Tunisia Live – 6 February 2012
Tataouine, the Setting of Star Wars, Covered in Snow
Residents of the southern Tunisian towns of Tataouine and Matmata…
…enough to transform the landscape from an arid desert to a glistening-white tundra….
Huffington Post – 7 August 2012
South Africa Snowfall Stuns Johannesburg
In Pretoria, the country’s capital, flurries filled the sky during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was the first snowfall there since 1968, the weather service said.
Guardian – 10 January 2013
Snow blankets Jerusalem – in pictures
The worst snowstorm in 20 years has shut roads and schools in Jerusalem as the harsh weather affects regions across the Middle East
_______________ – 15 January 2013
Snow in Malta 2013
In the past 200 years there were only few days when this miracle happened here. Malta has experienced just four snowfalls since 1895.
Times of India – 6 February 2012
Snow in Tripoli, but little chance in Malta
BBC News – 29 April 2013
Spain’s spring snow: Unseasonal weather blocks roads
Spain has been struck by unseasonal weather which has seen snow falling across the country.
Extreme weather warnings are in place in 18 provinces, with small roads blocked as temperatures continue to hover around freezing.
The Portugal News Online – 16 May 2013
Snow in Portugal one month before summer
…”This is not supposed to happen this time of the year”…”I have never seen it snow so late in the year”…
_______________ – 25 May 2013
Historic cycling race in Italy is halted by snow for the first time in 24 years
HEAVY snow forced organisers of the Giro d’Italia cycling race to call off yesterday’s mountain stage – the first time in 24 years…
Reuters – 21 June 2013
Rare June snow blankets northwest China.

Lil Fella from OZ

Hot=cold. Hot=hot. Cold really comes from hot. Does that make any sense? Well to some people that is how it goes.

Gail Combs

u.k.(us) says: @ February 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm
…. Let’s get things back into perspective.
The perspective is Mother Nature is putting a major kink in Holdren and Obama’s plans to ‘De-Develop the United States’
So yes I rejoice, not at the suffering of the people here in the USA and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere but over the fact that it is a major bucket of cold water in the face of the sheeple and just maybe they will wake-up in time to stop the insanity.
Because if we do not stop it now the entire USA will look worse than Detroit.
Since Obama took office the number of unemployed has gone from ~12% in 2007 to ~24% Already 10% of our electric @ $16 per megawatt is slated tol be shutdown and replaced by new capacity ranging in price from $136 per megawatt to $357 per megawatt (FirstEnergy Ohio) probably by 2015. What do you think will happen in Ohio were the most coal fired plants are slated to be shut down? Do you think people are going to be happy when a $160 per month electric bill skyrockets towards $3,000 per month bill? Do you think any businesses will remain in the area? Or do you think Ohio is going to make Detroit look good?
(Coal fueled 78 percent of Ohio’s net electricity generation in 2011)
So yes, I hope the USA gets slammed good and hard with snow and cold for the next few years to give people a real appreciation of reliable cheap electric. Because if we vote any more bozos into office, I suggest you start learning Chinese.


Rare snow signs are sure signs of the next ice age. We must act now before it’s too late.

AccuWeather – 9th February, 2014
Rare Snowstorm Hits Japan, Turns Deadly

Japanese children say they now understand what snow is.

Eamon Butler.

Yes, lots of snow, but I get the feeling that at the first signs of melt, the alarmist fingers will start to point at the dreaded Global Warming of the man made variety again.

Chad Wozniak

@Gail Combs –
Frankly, I think Holdren and Obama are perverse enough to be delighted at the prospect of people having to pay $3,000 a month for electricity – if they can keep getting it at all. Of course only Obama’s billionaire crony capitalist buddies and other assorted reprobates like senators Feinstein and Boxer will be able to pay that kind of money for electricity, and they could care less that everyone else will lose their jobs because their employers can’t pay those rates, and maybe starve or freeze to death., These people are mean-spirited enough to quite overtly wish that on poor and middle-class folks.

Pamela Gray

What’s for dinner? I am buried in 9 inches of snow here (hey, don’t laugh, I am less than 59 inches tall!). So in honor of the snow pack building in the Blues and Wallowas, I have made a delectable dinner of sour cream cornbread, spicy broiled trout, carrot and red rice sauteed pilaf, and cole slaw. All served with an appropriate room temperature red wine to match the spicy savory food. The cornbread is done and has filled the air with corn-sweet scent. The red rice is simmering in vegetable stock. The trout is soaking up its spicy paste rub in the frig. And the cook is drinking too much sherry! Yum yum!
The downside? My potato growing man is 80 miles away and bad roads separate us.


u.k.(us) says:
February 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm
It’s just unbelievable, the joy being expressed as one of our greater cities gets laid low, not only by economics but a weather event. I take no joy in the situation.
Let’s get things back into perspective.

To paraphrase former U.S. Interior Sec. James Watt, Detroit represents “the failure of socialism.” I don’t take joy in their plight, but all we can do is watch as the city slowly dissolves.


Just doing a Phd on ‘Passive Smoking’ and ‘Weather In America’,not yet sure of what Is In the smoke but It sure does ‘Open the Mind’ to a ‘Fantasy World’ of synaptic gap exchanges.
I now know the meaning of a ‘HIGHer Education’.
(Please note-this Is sarcasm).


@Chad – No. The city knows we get hit with more snow some years, less in others. In fact, this year should end up being the fourth time since 2000 that GR records more than 100 inches of snowfall . The NWS shows only 7 years total with more than 100 inches of snowfall in records dating back to 1893. Last year there was 63 inches.
The problem this year, was the snow seemed to be a constant occurrence with no thaw. No huge storms, just a bunch of minor ones. And we could not tell one storm from the next with all the lake effect we’ve had in between. Though, the beauty of a lake effect snow squall with the sun shining underneath, makes it all worth it living here.


“I’m betting the plowing budget is already plowed.”
Somebody has to say it: Budget? We don’t need no stinking budget.

Brian H

Alan Robertson says:
February 9, 2014 at 10:13 am

Ps In Canada, is it pronounced hoseur?

No, but the bon mot is appreciated!