Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snowmageddon Michigan 2014 Continued

This morning we woke up to the beginning of the last storm of the season!!!  ...we hope.  It rained during the night, and now we have heavy snow that is supposed to last until 3:00 pm.  Schools are closed again, and the roads look like they have lots of accidents.  We are expected to get up to 9 inches of snow today.  It has been an incredibly brutal winter, as we wrote about previously.  I am currently watching the snow and ice.

Watching the storm through my icy window

We have gotten 84.1" of snow so far this year in Detroit (without today's totals). The most snowfall ever recorded in Detroit was 93.6" during the 1880-1881 winter season.  Normal levels are in the 40" range, so we have really been hit hard this year.  Combined with the record-breaking cold temperatures, this has been a really bad winter for those who commute for a living (like me).  I am hoping that we break the all-time record for snow, so we would actually need 9.6" of snow before the season is over.  Might as well go for it, right?  

As a first time homeowner, I must say that this winter has been difficult.  It is a lot of work to shovel all of that snow and there has been some damage to the house from the snow and ice. Here are some pictures from the past month. 

Snowing in the backyard

Our street with snow build-up : Almost covers the mailbox

Michigan - our dog can hardly get through the snow
Michigan Deer After Snow Storm in Our Backyard

This weather has also created some pretty special events that aren't seen very often.  One day, we woke up to the brightest blue sky with ice crystals covering everything.  It looked like Narnia.  This is called Hard Rime and is caused by freezing fog. 
Michigan Hard Rime Trees 2014


Michigan Hard Rime Close Up 2014
While in Ohio, I saw an amazing phenomenon called Snow Rollers.  It happens when there is snow, then a layer of ice, then more snow, and wind.  The snow rolls itself into something that looks like a bail of hay.  Crazy snowy bales of hay with no footprints near them!  I hear that they had these in West Michigan this year as well.  I noticed that they didn't happen on wide-open fields.  They were more common hear trees or on hills, so I believe that the wind must have some sort of turbulence in order to create the snow rollers.

Snow Rollers in Ohio 2014
Ice cover on the Great Lakes has reached 92%, which we haven't seen since the 1970s. Usually, ice cover is around 40%.  Here is a picture from NASA showing the frozen Great Lakes.

NASA picture of frozen Great Lakes 2014. 
 Back in 1994, there was a similar amount of ice cover.  We went out onto Lake Michigan in Good Hart to see everything.  You might think that the lake would look like a big slick piece of ice, but it doesn't.  As the ice freezes, there are still waves and winds that create lots of caverns, hills, etc.  You can see the layers that it freezes in as you walk out onto the ice.  First there will be a row of caverns and hills.  Then a smooth section.  Then a section with shards and sheets of ice, and it goes from there.  It's interesting to think of the weather conditions as that section freezes.  Here is my family and I on Lake Michigan in Good Hart.

Ice Cave Entrance - Frozen Lake Michigan, Good Hart Michigan 1994

Frozen Lake Michigan - Good Hart Michigan 1994


Frozen Lake Michigan - Good Hart Michigan 1994


And lastly, to celebrate our (hopefully) last snow storm, I want to share some pictures of snowy Michigan through the years from SeekingMichigan.org.  These pictures are from their archives, and I love looking through their collections of old photos.

Campus Martius Detroit Michigan c. 1895 Snow via SeekingMichigan.org

Detroit Michigan Snow c 1910 via SeekingMichigan.org

Indian River Michigan May 1907 via SeekingMichigan.org

Jennings Michigan Snow via SeekingMichigan.org

Petoskey Michigan Snow 1927 via SeekingMichigan.org

Sault Ste Marie Michigan Snow Removal via SeekingMichigan.org


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