Winter Outlook for 2019-2020 in Grand Haven

Winter Outlook for 2019-2020 in Grand Haven

Back about a month ago in late September when we still had some 70-degree weather, I thought that the winter weather forecast could wait until the middle of November.  However, all signs are pointing to an early start to winter around here, with snow in the forecast by this weekend.  It’s usually a bit embarrassing to put out the winter prognostication when we have snow on the ground, and I don’t even have my snow scraper in the car yet. 

All the signs are pointing to not only a colder than normal winter, but it appears that we will get a cold and snowy November that will continue well into March giving us approximately four and a half months of frigid weather.  Also, we are headed to above normal snowfall with a seasonal snowfall of 133 inches.  Compare this winter to the winters of 2014 and 2015, it is about three weeks less in duration than five years ago.  Those two winters averaged 150 inches of snow and were the most severe in many years dating back to 1979.

Before the complaining starts to move into high gear, it is important to point out that this weather forecast is based upon signs, weather patterns, and a conglomeration of experience.  Most people are not big fans of winter and I probably fall into that category. I’m frequently asked to produce nicer weather with mild winters and balmy summer days.  However, I’m much like an umpire and “call ‘em as I see ‘em” unfortunately.  My popularity takes a hit when we have six weeks of a polar vortex from January to March.  I sure get in a lot of trouble for a stubborn low-pressure system that sets up shop in the Hudson Bay area.

One thing that is troublesome about the upcoming days of polar vortexes, blinding whiteouts, and extensive Great Lakes ice coverage, is that the water levels will remain high and could even go higher depending precipitation.  Ice covered lakes do not lend themselves to much evaporation and snow does not tend to flow very quickly out of the Great Lakes.   March 21, 2020 will be here in four months and three weeks and technically mark the first day of spring.  Hopefully, that will coincide with our area getting mild weather and an end to the snow.


Will Beaton


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