The Biggest Christmas Snowstorm in Michigan History

Written by Telea Dodge
Published: December 11, 2023
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Most Midwestern states are accustomed to seeing a white Christmas. This is especially true for states in the northern Midwest, such as Wisconsin and Michigan. Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we’re expecting – and sometimes we get too much of it. Today, we’ll be looking at the biggest snowstorm in the history of Michigan. We’ll find what year had the largest amount of snowfall on the ground in cities around the state. Let’s learn about the biggest Christmas snowstorm in Michigan history!

The Biggest Christmas Snowstorm in Michigan History

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian

Snowstorms can cause traffic delays, road closures, and more.

©Tainar/Shutterstock.com

The most snowfall to occur on Christmas in the state of Michigan was in 1951. On December 25th, 1951, there were 22 inches of snow on the ground in Grand Rapids, Michigan. How does this stack up against the biggest snowfall in Michigan history? Well, it nearly doesn’t. On December 19th, 1996, Herman, Michigan saw the most snowfall in one day. This record is set at a whopping 30 inches of snow! That’s over two and a half feet of snow in only one day!

Let’s look at some other impressive snowfall in Michigan around Christmas. This helpful table will show you a few of the greatest snowfalls on Christmas – or in the week leading up to it. Keep in mind that some of these numbers will appear greater. This is based on snowfall over multiple days. Of course some locations will have higher rates of snowfall over several days than in one day.

LocationDateInches of Snowfall
DetroitDecember 25th, 19716.2 inches
Grand RapidsDecember 9-25th, 196251.3 inches
LansingDecember 25th, 19657 inches
DetroitDecember 25th, 19157.9 inches

Chances of a White Christmas

Not all Christmases are white, even for northern states like Michigan.

©Enio DePaz/ via Getty Images

Michigan is hit-or-miss for a white Christmas. The National Weather Service says a “White Christmas” is classified by at least one inch of snow on the ground. Will Michigan see a white Christmas? Well, it really depends on where you live. In the southern portion of the state, chances are at about 25-40 percent. In contrast, the northernmost portions of the state – especially in the Upper Peninsula – see chances at 90-100 percent. A 2022 article from Michigan Live states historical probabilities for several areas in Michigan. For example, they state that Dundee faces a 42 percent chance of a white Christmas, while Grand Rapids sees a 56 percent chance.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Dean Pennala/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Telea Dodge is an animal enthusiast and nature fiend with a particular interest in teaching a sense of community and compassion through interactions with the world at large. Carrying a passion for wild foraging, animal behaviorism, traveling, and music, Telea spends their free time practicing their hobbies while exploring with their companion dog, Spectre.

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