Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula surpasses 300 inches of snowfall this winter

Snowshoeing in the Keweenaw during the late winter months.
Snowshoeing in the Keweenaw during the late winter months.(Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 1:03 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 1:04 PM EDT
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LAC LA BELLE, Mich. (WLUC) - While spring is in the air for most parts of the Midwest, winter isn’t done with Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.

According to the Keweenaw County Road Commission, the peninsula in the heart of Lake Superior surpassed 300 inches of total snowfall for the winter with more expected.

Photos courtesy of Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau

According to the official snowfall total, the county is sitting at 300.5″ for the season so far. The last storm brought a wintery mix of ice and about 16 inches of snow.

“Any time you pass the 300-inch mark, it’s a big deal,” shared Brad Barnett, executive director of the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau. “That’s 25 feet of snow in one season. And this year, we didn’t get much thaw, so there’s still a lot of snow on the ground. It’s perfect for winter sports enthusiasts looking for spring skiing, sledding and other outdoor activities.”

On average, the Keweenaw Peninsula receives 270 inches of snow each winter. Much of that is generated thanks to Lake Superior and the phenomenon of lake-effect snow. As cold air from Canada crosses over the warmer, open water of Lake Superior, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere forming conditions that can generate 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more. Because Lake Superior spends all summer absorbing heat form the sun, its slow to freeze over most winters moderating temps around the Keweenaw and storing potential energy for epic lake-effect snow.

Looking at the forecast, Barnett expects the total to continue to grow this winter as temperatures remain around or below freezing. On average, the Keweenaw receives between 30 and 40 inches of snow in March and April.

According to Barnett, late-season snow brings snow chasers from across the Midwest looking to get one last ride or run before packing up for the year.

“Spring skiing and sledding, and other activities like cross country skiing and snowshoeing, are a lot of fun this time of year because the days are longer, and the temperatures are more mild. Just be sure to watch the weather and expect spring-like conditions,” Barnett said.

For more information on the Keweenaw’s snow conditions and snow totals, visit www.Keweenaw.info.

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