Lake effect snow piles on West Michigan

Lake effect snow piles on West Michigan
Almost every location in Michigan has received above average snowfall to date in this early part of the snow season.

Some of the snow totals are mind boggling for early December.

Obviously the highest snow totals have been posted across the Upper Peninsula. Much of the northern half of the U.P. has received at least 2 feet of snow already. The highest seasonal snow total I've found is Chatham, MI, which is between Marquette and Munising and 10 miles from the Lake Superior shoreline. Chatham has already tallied 58.6 inches of snow.

Here's a map showing the snow totals so far this season. I hesitate to use the word "winter" because meteorological winter just started Dec. 1 and astronomical winter doesn't start until around Dec. 21.

Snowfall so far since October 1, 2019.
© NOAA/ Mark Torregrossa
Snowfall so far since October 1, 2019.
Here's a rundown of the exact snow amounts so far to this point in our snow season.

City. Season Snow To Dec 3,2019. Departure from normal.

Chatham 58.6″ +13″ (estimate)
Munising 55.1″ +12″ (estimate)
Marquette 47.3″ +13″
Big Bay 38.8″ +10″ (estimate)
Sault Ste. Marie 26.0″ +6.4
Traverse City 24.5″ +13.5″
Houghton Lake 15.9″ +5.3″
Alpena 15.8″ +6.1″
Muskegon 13.3″ +5.1″
Ann Arbor 13.0″ +9.0″
Flint 11.8″ +8.0″
Grand Rapids 10.4″ +1.5″
Saginaw/Bay City 9.7″ +5.1″
Detroit 9.6″ +7.4″
Kalamazoo 7.4″ -0.5″
Lansing 7.2″ +2.4″

With Detroit already having 9.6″ of snow, this puts this early season total as the fifth heaviest snow total to date. Only four other years have had more cumulative snow up to Dec. 3 in Detroit.

It looks like next week will have more accumulating snow for the western half of Lower Michigan and the northern part of Lower Michigan. The Upper Peninsula could be again covered in a widespread snow next week.

It's been so snowy in the U.P., 19 people had to be rescued from a snowed-in cabin.