Frost in Mid-May? Not That Unusual

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 16, 2014) — The return of frosty weather to West Michigan Friday morning seemed to send people into a state of denial, at least for many in the social media world.

Some of the comments seen on Facebook range from the funny to just plain angry:

“There is some white substance on my beautiful green grass and … I think I just saw a Penguin cross my yard…”

May 16th and frost on the roofs and grass. WTH”

It’s close to the beginning of June and we still have the furnace running?”

5am, 30.3 degrees and it looks like a pretty good frost. Why would anyone want to live here that doesn’t have to is beyond me.”

Even my wife sent me a message Friday morning: “I love you, but this weather needs to go away!”

Well, I certainly can’t control it, but I can give you some information that might make you feel a bit better (or worse, depending on your point of view).

Frosty weather in the middle of May is far from rare in West Michigan.  In fact, it’s more unusual to be totally done with frost at this point in the season.

To prove my point, I went through the online NOWData system on the National Weather Service website.

Looking at the entire period of record in the Grand Rapids area, the average date of the last frost (typically marked by temperatures at or below 36°) is May 15th.  Yes, this type of weather is perfectly normal for this point in the season.

In fact, we dropped to 36° on May 24th just last spring, and it was all the way down to 29° on May 13, 2013.

Only five times since 2000 has the last frost occurred before May 10th.

Unfortunately, we do have a couple more mornings with some frost possible through the weekend, but temperatures will gradually climb again as we head into next week.

You can check out the latest 7 Day Forecast on the Weather page.

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