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Snowfall Questions and Answers

Do you want to know...How much snow in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan 2016? What are the yearly snowfall totals in Upper Peninsula of Michigan? Average snowfall in the Upper Peninsula? Snowfall records in the Upper Peninsula? Daily snowfall in Upper Peninsula of Michigan?

Snowfall is a very popular thing for many to keep track of through the winter season here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Many who live in the U.P. and many who live far away check the website daily for the new snowfall amounts.
As FunintheUP.com has gotten more popular and has quickly become the goto source for snowfall totals in the Upper Peninsula more and more questions are asked daily and many of them are the same questions or asked in a slightly different way. This page will serve to help answer some of the questions you may have been seeking an answer to. These are just the most frequently asked and some of the more important questions we thought you should know the answer to.
As always you may contact me through email at snow @ funintheup.com or through Facebook messaging.
Thank you for following funintheup.com - Steve Jurmu UP Adventure Guide

Q: What is snow?
A: Well to some people snow is a bad four-letter word. To a lot of people it is fun, mysterious, joyful, beautiful, and pure. Snow is a mineral, a form of precipitation that falls from the sky when the conditions are just right. A snowflake is made up of tiny ice crystals. The size of snowflakes vary based on the amount of ice crystals that join together. Snow is something many enjoy and many don't like, but one thing is for certain is it pretty to look at in most cases.

Q: What is the Keweenaw county snowfall record?
A: The Keweenaw County snowfall record is 390.4 inches - it fell during the winter of 1978/1979. This was measured in Delaware location.

Q: What is the Houghton county snowfall record?
A: The Houghton county snowfall record is 354.1 inches - it fell during the winter of 1978/1979. This was measured at the Houghton County Airport.

Q: What is Marquette county snowfall record?
A: The Marquette county snowfall record is 319.8 inches - it fell during the winter of 2001/2002. Measured at the NWS office in Negaunee township.

Q: Why is snowfall measured?
A: Snowfall is important to measure for a few reasons and many more which I won't get into here on this page. Basically we measure snowfall to help compare it to previous seasons, study the impacts of snowfall, and to prepare for the up and coming winter season. Snowfall amounts can help with future weather forecasts, predicting water table levels, predicting waterflow of spring melt, and also to help analyze the impact of snow on man made structures, and many more. The data is used at the National Weather Service, Weather Channel, research agencies, agriculture companies, architecture firms, government agencies, TV stations, radio stations, weather stations, ski resorts, tourism agencies, and other places. Snow is an important part of our environment and to know how much snow has fallen helps us understand more about our earth and the weather patterns which affect our daily activities.

Q: How is snowfall measured?
A: Snowfall is measured in various ways. Automation of snowfall measurements began in the early 1970s and is currently used in various places around the world. Most snowfall measurements used by NOAA and other agencies depend on skilled and trained snow observers who love snow, they will most often measure snow with a snowboard (not recreational board), snow measurement yard stick in 10ths of an inch, with a snow cylinder, funnel, and other tools. Some snow observers don't calculate the water content and only measure the freshly fallen snow on the snowboard. It is not a requirement to measure both snowfall amounts and water content of the daily snow. There is a lot that goes into measuring snowfall, if you are interesting in learning more you can learn how to measure snowfall. The amount of snowfall that actually falls to what is actually measured by the snow observer can be influenced by wind, gravity, air pressure, physics, rain, temperature, human error, animals, and other factors. Snowfall totals are never 100% accurate of what actually has fallen because of these outside forces. We as snow observers can get pretty accurate reading of snowfall by following the procedures set forth for measuring snowfall. Most observers take measurements on a daily basis once (1x) every 24hrs, very few stations are measured more than once a day. If you measure 2x, or 4x a day your snowfall totals will be greater because you are able to mimimize the snowfall that is affected by the outside influences and the snow will have a shorter period of settling.

Q: Where do the snowfall amounts come from?
A: Most of the snowfall amounts come from people who measure snowfall on a daily basis. There are snowfall observers all around the country who take it upon themselves to measure snowfall on a daily basis. Almost all of the snowfall observers are volunteers, most of them enjoy weather and seeing how much snow has fallen in their backyards. There are also mechanical and electronic devices that are made to measure snowfall that are used as well. Many airports will have someone who measures snowfall, country or state transportation agencies, weather stations, and ski resorts may also have people who are in charge of snowfall measurements.

Q: Why is there a lot of snow here, but not over here, why is there so much variation?
A: There are many reasons why there could be a foot (1ft) of snow in this city, and 5 feet (5ft) in this city. One thing that affects us here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Open water has a huge effect on the snowfall because when the cooler air moves across the lake it picks up moisture from the lake into the skies, this moisture then freezes, gathers particulates in the atmosphere and then proceeds to fall as snow as it moves across the land. This is known as "Lake Effect Snow". Now you will see more often than not areas that are more interior and at higher elevations on the east side and to the south of these cold air masses see the most snowfall. Also the environment along with the lakes can also play a role in how much snowfall one area gets from another. We most often see here in the UP, places like Calumet, Twin Lakes, Painesdale, Herman, Ishpeming, Munising, and Ironwood will get a lot snowfall. Places like Iron Mountain, St. Ignace, Newberry, or Escanaba will see less than 50 inches typically. This is based on the elevation, distance from Lake Superior, the movements of the winds (most often N and NW winds), and the environment. You will always here the word snowbelt, it is an area of a lot of snowfall, areas where bands of snow and wind most often travel through in turn dumping lots of snow on the area. Snow bands can change in various storms, that is why sometimes you will see an area that usually doesn't get much snowfall getting a lot of snowfall for a storm, it depends on the movements of the winds, the air temps, and the environmental factors during that particular system.

Q: How can I become a snowfall observer? I love SNOW!
A: Great it is a lot of fun and I encourage you to do so! Please contact myself at snow @ funintheup.com and or also contact the NWS office closest to you, they may be looking for COOP weather observers in your area.

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email: snow @funintheup.com