Cool Stuff

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Official!

Yes, it's snowing.....the first snowfall of significance (Translation: It's actually staying on the ground for awhile) of the Winter.

I've always enjoyed the snow and winter in general. Of course there can always be too much of a good thing and often, where I've lived the last 25 yrs or so, that tends to occur about February of every Winter!  That, of course is about the time one truly gets sick of the cold and snow, just wishes it would stop yet, snows and snows, until April! But the early winter In Michigan is often a magical time for me.

I believe that is why I've always wanted to live in region's of the country where we had the four, distinct seasons so each season can be enjoyed to the fullest. So now it is Winter's turn!

Until four or five years ago, I lived primarily in Holland Michigan year round. Since then I've spent time there as well as here in Southern Michigan on Coldwater Lake. Even though the two places are only 120 miles apart, the snowfall amounts couldn't be more different.
Holland of course sits on Lake Michigan which provides a little thing called "Lake Effect Snow". Locals take this for granted, accept it as a matter of course but the first time I experienced it for myself in 1984, I was totally unprepared! No plow or snow blower, just Shirley, Chelsea (age 1) and I, fresh from Ohio and totally freaked out. I thought it was kinda cool....until I had to shovel!!

It was over New years that year (84/85) and I believe in 2 days we got something like 20 inches of hard, blowing snow. Coming from Central Ohio, I had never seen anything like this in my life. The stranger thing was if I drove 15 miles east of Holland there would only be 5 or so inches of snow. Lake Effect, plain and simple. The storm front picks up moisture over the lake and drops mega amounts of snow for the first 10 to 15 miles inland. Buffalo, NY and the Cleveland Ohio region are two other area that regularly experience this phenomenon. Aren't we special!!?

Now we get a good snowfall here in Coldwater but it's a bit different. We can be affected by the lake but we are so far inland that it's rare when we get a significant blast from Lake Effect Snow. But still, it's Michigan, it's the North Country and it freakin' snows here....a lot.

And so Winter truly begins with the first "visible" snow of the year.....CHEERS!

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