Numbers confirm an unusually snowy start to the season

Downtown Gaylord, seen here, has already picked up more than a half season's snowfall before the official start of winter.

While we have not yet officially even hit the winter season yet, winter weather has taken off with Gaylord already picking up more than half of a normal season of snow.

While cold and snowy as of late, the snow that has fallen has been localized with a few places actually running below normal in snow for the season. Sault Ste. Marie, Gaylord, West Branch, Traverse City, and Petoskey are all running above normal in snow so far this season. In contrast, Alpena and Houghton Lake are lagging a bit behind.

Gaylord tops the list with 74" of snow so far. That is a remarkable 35" or almost three feet above normal. In fact, Gaylord has already crossed the halfway point to a full season's worth of snow which in a typical year is 145" and we still have at least three more months of snowy weather to contend with.

Next on the list is Petoskey with 47" of snow. That is a good 18" above the normal of 29" that normally falls by this date.

While Sault Ste. Marie has had 37" of snow, that amount is actually close to average for the Greater Sault area with 33" the normal average through today.

Traverse City also is seeing a surplus of snow with 34" falling, a good foot above the normal of 22" by this date.

Further inland, while West Branch in Ogemaw County has only picked up 18" of snow, that is a good 7" above the normal of 11".

On the flipside of things, even with a round of heavy snow this past weekend, Alpena is running a couple inches below normal so far for the season with 15" falling. The 30 year average is 18" so Alpena is about 3" short through this point of the season.

Houghton Lake has tallied 14" of snow this season which is also 3" short of the normal of 17" although still pretty close.

Overall, as it may seem to many, the majority of Northern Michigan is indeed seeing more snow than a typical start to the winter season.