Midwestern Lake Effect

Talk about riding in the Midwest, and arrange meet-ups.

Midwestern Lake Effect

Postby John » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:53 pm

In another forum "runswithdog" asked:

John, Bern and the MIdwest guys---- hows all that lake effect snow around you and yours ? Any areas opening up?

The Great Lakes ARE big--much bigger than you might think if you've never been to the region.

On the other hand, their effects on snow are fairly localized. I used to live in western Michigan. If you were 10 or 15 miles from Lake Michigan (118 miles wide at its widest), you would get hammered by snow storms. If you were 40 miles inland, you wouldn't get nearly as much.

That said, even ski areas places where you'd consider them to be in the "snow belt" buy new snowmaking equipment on a regular basis. One reason is to have a solid base throughout the season.

Lake Superior is even bigger than Lake Michigan (you could fit the other four Great Lakes into Superior), so Marquette Mountain should get a good snow supply, but even the Porcupine Mountains (on the western part of Michigan that sticks into Lake Superior) sometimes lacks for natural snow.

And as far as Minnesota, where Bernwern and I are? We're quite a ways from Lake Superior and so we don't get any lake effect. In fact, the air is pretty dry around here most of the time.

There are, however, two ski areas in Minnesota that are on the shores of Superior: Spirit Mountain and Lutsen.
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