The snow just keeps on falling here in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Seriously. It just keeps on coming. Yesterday, schools within 50 miles of us in every direction were cancelled. It’s not just schools; many businesses didn’t even opening their doors! And it’s still not over, most area schools were cancelled again today!
We’ll have snow coming down throughout the day. It’s been a pattern over the past month and a half, and it’s made for a great base at the Swedetown Trails. As groomer (and GBC Snow Bike Race Director) Pat Szubielak said at a meeting last week, there’s more than TWO FEET of base on our trails.
“This season started out very slow,” Meteorologist John Dee said. “Then, starting the evening of Jan. 12, a change in the pattern has led to a pretty regular lake effect snows as well as some system snows. We have all but erased the deficits accumulated in the first half of the season.”
Dee runs the website JohnDee.com, which provides great coverage to the question “how much snow is there in the Midwest?” He’s THE local expert, and lives here because of the snow, which he loves.
“The Keweenaw is hit especially hard by snow because it is surrounded on three sides by water,” said Dee. “Given all the other atmospheric conditions are good for lake effect snow to form, we can get lake effect with winds from all directions but south.”
Dee said the lake effect snow is caused when cold air flowing over open water picks up moisture and “heat” from the water.
“This warming causes the air to rise and the addition of moisture enhances the chances for clouds and precipitation to form in the clouds,” Dee said. “Since the air has to be significantly colder than the water, the precipitation usually forms as snow.”
So now you know why we have so much snow. As we’ve said before, it’s the second most in the continental United States. More than 200” on average. This year, we should have no trouble hitting that average. In fact, Dee doesn’t see any reason to worry.
“There is a very solid base of snow down, and with new snow looking to be quite healthy in the next 10 days, it will take a pretty major meltdown to cause serious problems for the Great Bear Chase,” Dee said.
There you have it. John Dee confirmed, we’ll have the snow this year folks. Finish your cross-country ski season here in the Keweenaw! Register today and you’ll save $10 on your registration fee!