When the first winter snow falls in Michigan, we all sigh and think about how beautiful and majestic it is. Then by the time spring rolls around, many lose sight of its wonder and hope to never see those annoying little flakes of moisture again. But when you think about it, snow really is amazing – this is especially easy to think about as we are currently relishing much warmer weather… So here are some interesting facts about snow to help you stay away from getting depressed as fall wraps up and we head into winter.
You know that snow is generally fluffy and light allowing it to form large piles and snow drifts. But did you know that on average, 13 inches of snow equals one inch of rain, although this ratio can vary from two inches for sleet to nearly 50 inches for very dry, powdery snow under certain conditions.
In 1717, Boston had one of the largest snowstorms on record. The city received three to four feet of snow with some snowdrifts measuring a whooping 25 feet in height! It was called the “Great Snow of 1717.”
We had something similar in Michigan during “The Great Blizzard of 1978” when there was a storm that dumped the most snow on Michigan at one time ever. The storm was also called a “White Hurricane.” When the storm ended, it’s estimated that about 20 people died from storm related issues and Michigan had more than 50 inches of snow.
Michigan residents were the first to figure out how to actually enjoy snow! The first patent in the United States for a snowmobile was issued in 1916 to Michigan resident, Ray Muscott. It was quickly modified by others and became popular for mail delivery. They called these “Snowflyers.”
In the 1978-79 snow season, Michigan had a record year of snowfall with a little over 355 inches or almost 30 feet (in Marquette, MI). The record for Grand Rapids was 132 inches in 1951-52.
The temperature inside the cloud determines the shape of the snowflake. While the most common shape is a six-sided flake, there are occasionally snowflakes shaped like spools of thread, needles and hourglasses.
Snow in the movies isn’t usually the frozen water variety. Film producers use things such as instant potato flakes, paper and cellulose.
It might seem like there are a lot of snowstorms each year. However, in the United States, the average number of snowstorms is 105 per year spread out over the entire country. These storms usually last between two and three days. It’s just that some pack a lot of punch and make big news!
Lightweight snowflakes can take hours to fall to the ground after being formed.
If you want to check out the beauty of an individual snowflake this year, buy a cheap magnifying glass to see some up close.
When you are tired of looking at all the snow up close or tired of having your employees waste valuable time snow plowing for you, Sneller Snow & Grounds is ready to help you clear your parking lot and walkways to keep customers and employees coming through the doors. Contact us today if your business is in the Grand Rapids or Lansing area to arrange Michigan snow removal service before the first snowstorm.