The early winter has taken the absentee landowners by surprise. yesterday's Leland Report was filled with queries about whether the driveway needed plowing or the roof needed to be cleared of snow. This is a picture of Richard clearing the snow off our barn last Wednesday. The official snow total is over 70 inches, so far, but that was light powder over warm ground so in compressed quite a bit. Still, the snow that Richard cleared off the roof is more like what we usually see by the end of January.
The weather map looked just like this for about a week: a band of snow just hanging over Leelanau County. By last week when the snow let up here and the TV news was blabbing about the "Killler Snow Storm" that gave the Northeast a foot of snow, we all sat in the breakroom and said "So what?"
The map at left, of Lake Michigan surface temps as of 12/07 gives us the reason for all this snow. Our unusually warm summer has left us with unusually warm lake temps, which feed the lake-effect snow. The darkest green is about 46 degrees, the dark blue is low 30's. When the lake is mostly dark blue, our lake effect snows will cease and there will be only the occasional "system snow" to contend with. I'll be checking the NOAA site frequently.