You Really Want to Know When the First Snow Is Coming in Michigan?
I have to leave my Grinch-ness at the door when I write stuff like this. But I do know there's a natural curiosity about when the first freeze and the first snowfall will occur in this part of Michigan. People now have big, over-the-top gender reveal parties, some that would be the envy of a Hollywood producer, but curiosity about coming snowfall might be close the same level.
Skiing enthusiasts, of course, want to know, but plenty of people love this month leading into Thanksgiving and then to the Christmas holidays. However. predicting an exact date for a weather occurrence is a bit folly. In some ways, I'm surprised the betting apps aren't taking wagers on this stuff.
The one that always sticks in the craw is the Farmers' Almanac. How can something written in the summer tell what's going to happen in November and December? Here's an example of what I'm saying. The Farmers Almanac had us having snow yesterday and today. Hmmm. Maybe again in about ten days. And then about every ten days until Christmas. What?
Jumping on the National Weather Service site, the next 30 days here are expected to be warmer and wetter than normal. That sure doesn't sound snow-packed to me. But here's something to consider. Let's look back twenty-four years ago. Picture it, 1997. It was just a week into fall, but on September 27th, Kalamazoo got hit with a freak blizzard. A ton of wet snow fell on the city, especially the west side. And the leaves hadn't fallen off the trees. Neighborhoods looked like warzones, with branches everywhere, having fallen from the weight of that wet snow.
We used to carry forecasts from the Weather Channel on the radio stations, and I got to be friends with a few of the forecasters. One of them let me in on a little secret. He said, "anything beyond 36 hours is a guess". oK, slightly beyond those 36 hours is an educated guess, but 60 days? C'mon now. Yes, we have computer models now and we can see trends building. Recently, stories have been popping up about La Nina conditions developing. "La Niña falls tend to be a bit drier and warmer across the Midwest, but there is A LOT of variability between La Niña years,” in this Yahoo story.
By the way, it looks like this is going to be the second La Nina year in a row, a "double-dipper" in the weather biz.
So there you have it. When are we getting the first snow? Check with me 36 hours before it happens and I'll tell you, reasonable certainty.