Winter Weather in Metro Detroit

Winter in Detroit, Michigan

 

Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images

The winter season in Metro Detroit is typically cold and snowy and the days short. The season really gets going as temperatures plummet and rain turns to snow.

01 of 04

December Weather in Detroit

Christmas Lights shining for veterans in Detroit Suburb
Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to About.com

The average temperature for December is 30.4 degrees. While we all cross our fingers for a white Christmas, sometimes things get our of hand. In fact, December has seen two of the Detroit area's 10 heaviest snow storms.

Temperatures

Typically, December is definitely chilly in Detroit. On average, 24.1 days of the month see temperatures of 32 degrees or lower. In fact, the average temperature range is 23.4 to 35.9 degrees. That's not to say there are no exceptions. The year in which December saw its lowest average temperature—since we started recording these things—was in 1876, when the average temperature during the month was 17.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Snow?

That all depends. On average, 13 days of the month have some type of precipitation—snow, sleet, rain—for a total of 2.51 inches. The average amount of snow Detroit sees in December is 8.5 inches. The second heaviest snow storm in the Detroit area occurred on December 1st and 2nd of 1974, when 19.3 inches of the white stuff fell.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day?

The sun is only an occasional visitor in December and the possibility of sunshine is only about 31% (an all-year low). Out of 31 days in the month, Detroit typically sees three clear days, six partly-cloudy days and 22 cloudy days.

Continue to 2 of 4 below.
02 of 04

January Weather in Detroit

January snow in Metro Detroit
Photo © Laura Sternberg, licensed to About.com

According to Weatherbase.com, January is not only the coldest month in the city with temperatures averaging 25.6 degrees, it is also the snowiest.

Temperatures

Typically, January is freezing in Detroit, literally. On average, 28 days of the month see temperatures of 32 degrees or lower. In fact, the average temperature range is 17.8 to 31.1 degrees. That's not to say there are no exceptions. In fact, Detroit has seen both highs of 64 degrees and lows of -21 in the month. The year in which January saw its lowest average temperature—since we started recording these things—was in 1977, when the average temperature during the month was 12.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Snow?

That all depends. On average, 12 days of the month have some type of precipitation—snow, sleet, rain—for a total of 1.8 inches. The average amount of snow Detroit sees in January is 8.4 inches. That being said, there are always exceptions. The most ever recorded for the month was 39.1 inches in 2014. The ninth heaviest snow storm in the Detroit area occurred on January 31st and February 1st in 1881, when 12.5 inches of the white stuff fell.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day?

The sun is only an occasional visitor in January and the possibility of sunshine is about 40%. Out of 31 days in the month, Detroit typically sees four clear days, seven partly-cloudy days and 20 cloudy days.

Continue to 3 of 4 below.
03 of 04

February Weather and Average Temperature in Detroit

Snow in Metro Detroit
Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to About.com

Things start looking up in February—although not by much. The average temperature for the month is 27.6 degrees, which is a little higher than January. February also sees a little less snow over the course of the month; but when it snows, it snows! February occupies six spots on the list of Detroit area's 10 heaviest snow storms.

Temperatures

Typically, February is freezing in Detroit, literally. On average, 24.7 days of the month see temperatures of 32 degrees or lower. In fact, the average temperature range is 20.0 to 34.4 degrees. That's not to say there are no exceptions. In fact, Detroit has seen both highs of 70 degrees and lows of -15 in the month. The year in which February saw its lowest average temperature—since we started recording these things—was in 1875, when the average temperature during the month was 12.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Snow?

That all depends. On average, 11 days of the month have some type of precipitation—snow, sleet, rain—for a total of 1.8 inches. The average amount of snow Detroit sees in February is 6.7 inches. That being said, there are always exceptions. The most ever recorded for the month was 38.4 inches in 1908. The third heaviest snow storm in the Detroit area occurred on February 1st and 2nd in 2015, when 16.7 inches of the white stuff fell.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day?

The sun is only an occasional visitor in February and the possibility of sunshine is about 46%. Out of 28 days in the month, Detroit typically sees five clear days, seven partly-cloudy days and 17 cloudy days.

Continue to 4 of 4 below.
04 of 04

March Weather in Detroit

Detroit in March
Photo © Jeff Dunn (CC BY 2.0)

Things continue looking up in March. The average temperature for the month is 36.1 degrees, which is a nice jump from February and positively balmy compared to January. March also sees a little less snow over the course of the month; but don't be lulled into a false sense of security with spring on the way. March occupies the 4th spot on the list of Detroit area's 10 heaviest snow storms.

Temperatures

Typically, March definitely sees a thaw. On average, 20.4 days of the month see temperatures of 32 degrees or lower. In fact, the average temperature range is 28.5 to 43.8 degrees. That's not to say there are no exceptions. In fact, Detroit has seen both highs of 86 degrees and lows of -4 in the month. The year in which March saw its lowest average temperatures -- since we started recording these things -- was in 1877, when the average temperature during the month was 25.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Snow?

That all depends. On average, 12 days of the month have some type of precipitation -- snow, sleet, rain -- for a total of 2.2 inches. The average amount of snow Detroit sees in March is 5.5 inches. The most snow ever recorded for the month was 30.2 inches in 1900. The fourth heaviest snow storm in the Detroit area occurred on March 4th and 5th in 1900, when 16.1 inches of the white stuff fell.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day?

The sun is only an occasional visitor in February and the possibility of sunshine is about 46%. Detroit typically sees five clear days and seven partly-cloudy days during the month.

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Current Results. "Detroit MI Snowfall." December 2020.

  2. Current Results. "Average Sunshine In Michigan." December 2020.

  3. Current Results. "Average Sunshine in Michigan for January." December 2020.

  4. Current Results. "Average Sunshine in Michigan for February." December 2020.

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