DETROIT (AP) - A record snowfall blanketed the Detroit area in January, but other parts of the state were short of their highest totals.
The 39.1 inches of snow that fell in and around Detroit last month was the most that has fallen in any month in the area, according to Justin Freitag, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oakland County’s White Lake Township.
The previous monthly record was 38.4 inches set in February 1908.
“Compared to the last couple of years, this is the worst,” Eric Shellum said while blowing snow Saturday morning from the exterior of an office building near downtown Detroit. “This is fantastic for me. I’m a skier, snowboarder, snowmobiler. You name it. I love the winter.”
Even as February began Saturday, another snowstorm enveloped the city and parts of southeast Michigan. Up to seven inches of snow was forecast for some communities.
“It will certainly leave - eventually,” Freitag said of the seemingly constant snowfall.
Flint received 32.9 inches of snow, which set its record for January. But the 41.9 inches that fell on Grand Rapids was far short of the January-record 46.8 inches from 1999.
“It was a very active January for Grand Rapids,” said Brandon Hoving, a meteorologist in the weather service’s Grand Rapids office. “We only had four days out of the month that it didn’t snow. A few of those days it was very light, but nevertheless, it was falling.”
The northern Lower Peninsula received about 39.5 inches of snow last month, nowhere near the 74.1 that fell in January 2004.
Marquette in the Upper Peninsula area similarly escaped January’s wrath, recording only 39.2 inches. The record is 91.7 inches in January 1997, according to Dave Petrovich, a weather service forecaster.
“We’ve not been getting that many pressure systems producing snow up here,” he said.
However, enough is enough in Detroit, lamented Kimberly Simpson-Waller, a college admissions representative.
“January has been crazy,” said Simpson-Waller, 41. “Driving to work has been an obstacle course, trying to get through traffic. We deal with it every year, but when the white stuff comes we’re never prepared for it.”
Despite dipping below zero degrees a number of days, the Detroit area’s average temperature of 16.4 degrees last month only ranks as January’s sixth coldest, according to Freitag.
Saturday’s high was expected to reach about 32 degrees, with a low dipping to about 15.