BOOKMARK OR THERE WON'T BE A LATER:
Google shows mostly pre 2000, well advertised, big staff, and big corporation sites in search results. Mostly the same old, largely stale sites are shown, sites that editorially only go so far and no farther. This site is about the opposite of what is shown in search results. Quest sites have total editorial freedom. The big majority of visitors who enjoy this site are coming back time and again via bookmarks they made. If you do not bookmark this page in some way, you will probably not be able to find it again.

ALL QUEST PAGES FULLY LOAD in about 10 seconds or less on cable broadband. .........SCROLL DOWN for specific articles you are following a link to.
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BIG SNOW COUNTRY MULTIPLE HOME PAGE SYSTEM>>>>>

BIG SNOW COUNTRY GATEWAY..............BIG SNOW COUNTRY BUSINESS..............GATEWAY #2..............SNOW CAMS..............WEATHER FORECASTS..............SNOW FALLING NOW: RADARS..............TEMPERATURES, WINDS, AND WIND CHILLS..............SNOW WATCH: SNOW DEPTHS AND SNOWFALLS..............MULTIMEDIA
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ALGER............BARAGA............GOGEBIC............HOUGHTON............KEWEENAW............LUCE............MARQUETTE............ONTONAGON
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WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION TO BIG SNOW COUNTRY
In the first few years Big Snow Country was entirely contained on this page. By 2009, due to large scale development, the page took too long to load and it would not completely load at all in some situations. To solve this problem, most of the features were moved out to niche feature pages. This was accomplished in the spring of 2010. These feature pages are described and linked to in and by the boxes that you will find just below the article below.

Along with the many features Big Snow Country also has original articles about the area. Only one article loads at a time. In between this introduction and the actual article is an index of the articles that allows you to choose among the different articles.

NEW IN 2011
For literally two years we have been planning to introduce more regular postings for Big Snow Country. Due to numerous other commitments and due to lengthy consideration of many different possible editorial approaches, the start of more active, regularly scheduled posting has taken much longer than we wanted. Now, certain other projects have been cut back so that we finally have the resources to produce at least monthly postings for Big Snow Country. So starting in 2011 regular postings will join all of the features and what we call the core articles (the ones that were posted in 2008 and 2009) to form a larger and more "active" Internet project.

COMMENTS ARE WELCOME
Your suggestions and comments in general are welcome; just click the comment button under any of the postings.

Unfortunately, comments have to be moderated due to all the "spam" (advertising) that you get in comments that are not moderated. Even more unfortunately, moderation can only be provided roughly twice a month. Thus, it could take up to two weeks until your comment appears. But it will eventually appear as long as it is not inappropriate advertising.

TO GET TO THE INFORMATION AND FEATURES THAT YOU WANT AND/OR NEED, SCROLL DOWN AND THEN CLICK ON ANY OF THE BOXES THAT YOU WILL FIND BELOW THE ARTICLE INDEX AND THE ARTICLE ITSELF THESE BOXES LEAD TO NUMEROUS RESOURCES, MANY OF WHICH ARE FOUND NOWHERE ELSE ON THE INTERNET

TO ACCESS ARTICLES CHOOSE ARTICLES/POSTINGS BY USING THE INDEX JUST BELOW

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why Big Snow Country is the Smart Place to Live Despite the Snow

The average person will ask: why would someone live where the snow piles up to between 2 and 3 feet high by February, and about triple that, 6-9 feet, for the highest plowed piles of snow in driveways? The answer is that snow and cold for five months is just about the sum total of all the seriously bad things you have to put up with in Big Snow Country, which means by Midwest standards this is actually an outstanding and safe place to live because there are so few bad things to deal with.

IN BIG SNOW COUNTRY YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT THE FOLLOWING 
Consider all of the things that Big Snow Country does NOT have, which pretty much all other areas in the Midwest and South, and which parts of the Northeast do have to one extent or another:

Tornadoes and the threat of them, which can drive you to pull out all the hair on your head or some such self-destruction. Tornado watches essentially never reach the counties along Lake Superior. There are never any tornados in Big Snow Country.

Straight Line Winds from very severe thunderstorms and in conjunction with near misses from tornados (brief lasting, but can be in excess of 100 mph). Neither severe thunderstorms nor straight line winds ever happen in Big Snow Country. The worst thunder storms in Big Snow Country would be considered wimpy storms in much of the rest of the Midwest and in the South.

Wind Storms in general, typically lasting 10-20 hours, generally in the late winter and in the spring; with sustained winds of 35 or even 40 miles per hour and gusts as high as 75 mph, whereas in Big Snow Country the worst “wind storms” feature sustained winds of about 25 miles per hour with gusts rarely above 45 mph and virtually never higher than 50 mph.

Hail Storms: the severe ones occurring elsewhere will damage your house, your roof and your car, by for example destroying all of your glass windows. The worst the hail ever gets in Big Snow Country is penny sized which does not damage anything.

Severe Thunder Storms with massive amounts of lightning. There is commonly at least 100 times as much cloud to ground lightning in a storm in many other areas of the Midwest and south compared to the little baby thunder storms in Big Snow Country. Also, the loudness of the thunder is far less here than elsewhere.

Floods: In most areas up here, flooding never ever happens. There are a few low lying areas in Big Snow Country where it is possible for there to be minor flooding. Both the frequency and the severity of flooding even in the limited low lying spots are much less than in the flood prone areas of the Midwest. And there are many flood prone areas in the Midwest and in the south.

Heat waves and excessive heat in general. It almost goes without saying that Big Snow Country never has severe heat waves. If you would rather be comfortable than sweating it out in the summer, this is where you want to be.

Wildfires: These occasionally happen in the forest during unusually warm and dry weather. Since true droughts and lengthy heat waves are rare, wildfires are much more rare here than elsewhere in the rural parts of the Midwest and than in the Rocky Mountains area. The rare wildfires that occur here are not only short lasting but also small in size compared to what occurs in those other regions. The rare wildfires that do occur here are far more likely to effect rural woodland more than about 15 miles from Lake Superior as opposed to forest land and populated locations that are less than 15 miles away from the Lake. The risk of a wildfire is virtually zero very close to the Lake, say, within 5 miles of it.

Ice storms: Despite the colder climate, ice storms in Big Snow Country are relatively rare, and if there is any ice accumulation, it is almost always an insignificant amount. The key thing is that basically Big Snow Country is too cold for big ice storms. Severe ice storms are very rare mostly because storms that might produce ice storms mostly track well to the south and because when storms do track farther north it is generally too cold for ice up here, so everything or almost everything up here falls as snow whereas to the south (even in Wisconsin) there might be a lot of ice. In the rare event when an ice storm causes a power outage in Big Snow Country, since the ice storm will have been relatively minor, the power will be restored relatively quickly, most likely within hours. In summary, large ice storms are very rare and there is on average roughly one minor ice storm every two winters in Big Snow Country with relatively little ice accumulation.

Earthquakes: The probability of an earthquake in Big Snow Country is virtually zero since it is as far from any fault line as you can get.

Electric power outages directly or indirectly from any of the storms above (especially from ice storms) lasting from an hour to several weeks. Big Snow Country averages roughly one power outage every two years due to weather (usually due to some ice on power lines combined with winds of about 20 mph gusting to about 40 mph). Many other areas in the US have at least ten times that many power outages, especially in the Midwest and South.

In summary, Big Snow Country is virtually totally free of all of the above storm related threats, which hit much of the rest of the country every single year to one extent or another. Property insurance companies love this area, because they rarely have to pay out weather related property damage claims.

MORE THINGS BIG SNOW COUNTRY LACKS (WHAT A SHAME!
Traffic jams:. People love their cars and trucks in this area, but traffic jams and heavy traffic in general are unheard of due to the light population.

Air or water pollution: This is going to be about the least polluted spot in the country.

Crime: The whole region is as you would expect a low crime area. The bigger the crime, the more rare it is. Petty and quite frankly really dumb crimes do happen, mostly in the big towns such as Marquette, but larger crimes are relatively rare in Marquette and everywhere else in Big Snow Country.

Snakes: There aren’t any except little harmless snakes deep in the woods.

Bears, wolves, deer, etc: There are virtually no wolves and no bears except possibly a tiny number in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Park. No wild animals of this sort ever wander into towns except every once in a blue moon a deer or two or three will wander into one of the small villages, but mostly in the middle of the night, so you won’t see deer unless you are up in the middle of the night.

Insects: Very few types of insects even exist here, and of course the quantity of insects around during the very short "insect season" is minimal. Insects are around outside only from about mid May until mid September and there are far more of them in the woods than in the towns. In the towns insects are not a big deal even at their peak time which is June and July. As long as you don’t live in or next to woodland, you won’t have a black fly or any other insect problem even in June or July.

Of course, in the woods, insects including perhaps the legendary black fly might be a problem during June and July. If you go into the woods in June or July, bring repellent.

ONE MORE THING: TAX CREDITS
There are two credits which help low income people (and people who have just moved into) Michigan.

Michigan has both a homestead property tax credit which reduces the already low property taxes of the area further for those with low incomes. Michigan also has a fairly generous heating credit, which reduces the cost of heating regardless of how you heat. Both of these credits are independent of income, meaning that even those with low incomes get them. In fact, those with the lowest incomes get the highest credits.

SAVE THOUSANDS WHEN YOU START A NEW BUSINESS
You can use Quest Business Services for free to help you get your new Big Snow Country business up and running.

In summary, Big Snow Country lacks so many seriously bad things that most other areas have to contend with that it turns out that it is very smart to live here and put up with about five months of cold and about four months of often heavy snow in exchange for 7-8 months of easy, worry free, and low cost living. Elsewhere the winter may be a lot nicer than here, but spring, summer, and sometimes even autumn are often plagued by disasters large and small, whereas up here winter is a pain but those other three seasons are stress free, worry free, and very nice indeed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Snow Depths in Big Snow Country

Here are the usual ranges for open ground snow depths for the heaviest snow belt in the world (outside of high mountain country) which is the Michigan Highway 26 corridor between Trimountain / Painesdale and Greenland / Mass City. These depths are for relatively flat land and for snow not drifted differentially by winds. Wind-driven snow drifts could be up to about 1/3 higher than these depths. Snow depth ranges are to the nearest multiple of five inches.

Oct 15: 0 to 5 inches
Oct 31: 0 to 5 inches
Nov 15: 0 to 10 inches
Nov 30: 0 to 15 inches
Dec 15: 5 to 20 inches
Dec 31: 20 to 30 inches
Jan 15: 20 to 35 inches
Jan 31: 25 to 40 inches
Feb 15: 25 to 45 inches
Feb 28: 25 to 40 inches
Mar 15: 20 to 35 inches
Mar 31: 10 to 20 inches
Apr 15: 0 to 15 inches
Apr 30 0 to 10 inches
May 15: 0 to 5 inches

Snow depths will be in these ranges about 3/4 of the time. The once in 100 years highest possible snow depth is about 1/4 higher than the high end of the ranges shown. For example, roughly once in 100 years there might be an absolute peak of 56 inches of snow on the ground on about February 15.

TYPICAL SNOW DEPTH FOR THE HIGHEST PLOWED PILES OF SNOW
The overall plowing season is November 1 through April 30. Any small amount of snow that falls in May and in October is ignored by the plows because it will very quickly melt on its own. Also, small snowfalls (less than about three inches) in early November and in April are also not enough to bring out the plows. But in December and January, the plow trucks operate on most of the days!

Remember, the following ranges are for the HIGHEST plowed piles of snow; most plowed piles will be less high, but still much higher than the open land snow depths shown above.

Oct 15: 0 to 5 inches
Oct 31: 0 to 5 inches
Nov 15: 0 to 15 inches
Nov 30: 10 to 25 inches
Dec 15: 25 to 45 inches
Dec 31: 45 to 70 inches
Jan 15: 50 to 80 inches
Jan 31: 65 to 100 inches
Feb 15: 70 to 110 inches
Feb 28: 65 to 100 inches
Mar 15: 50 to 80 inches
Mar 31: 25 to 50 inches
Apr 15: 10 to 30 inches
Apr 30: 0 to 20 inches
May 15: 0 to 10 inches

HOW TO MAKE EXACT CALCULATIONS FOR OTHER TOWNS
The snow depths above (both the open ground ones and the plowed pile ones) are typical or average snow depths in the Trimountain / Painesdale to Mass City / Greenland stretch along Michigan highway 26. For actual open ground current snow depths, visit the Snow Watch page.

Snow depths in other nearby locations will range from slightly less to much less. To exactly determine what the typical snow depths will be for a place you are interested in, follow the following procedure:

1. Go to this report. Browse the article or use your browser's find feature to find the average annual snowfall for any particular location.

2. Divide the average annual snowfall for your place of interest by 270, which is the average annual snowfall upon which the snow depths above are based.

3. Multiply the result of (2) by the minimum and maximum range numbers shown above.

For example, if your location averages 216 inches a year, it would be 80% of 270. Now if I want to know what the snow depth on the general or open ground will be on January 31, I multiply .80 by the minimum and the maximum from the range shown above, which is 25 to 40. The results are 20 and 32. So now we know that there will be, in most years, between 20 and 32 inches of snow on the open ground on January 31 in the location you were interested in.

Incidentally, the calculation example we used happens to be the actual snow depth on January 31 for Houghton-Hancock, because about 80% of the snow that falls at Painesdale-Trimountain falls there. In other words, Painesdale-Trimountain gets about 25% more snow than does Houghton-Hancock (even though the two locations are only about 8 miles apart).

WHEN DOES THE SNOW ON THE OPEN GROUND COMPLETELY MELT?
The open ground, not including the plowed mounds of snow, and except for a possible additional small amount of overnight spring snow that melts the next day, becomes completely green sometime during the month of April. Most commonly, it would be beeen April 10 and April 20.

Exactly when in this period the green ground returns will depend on whether there is a mid or late April snow storm, which there is slightly more than 1/2 of the years. For example, on April 21, 2009, there was an unusually late heavy snowfall of about 10 inches, which obviously caused the open ground to become snowed over again after most of it had been green for about two weeks. That snow melted rapidly, of course, but the quantity of it along with cooler than normal temperatures and mostly cloudy weather meant that it took until about the first of May for that snow to melt completely off the open ground.

WHEN DO THE PLOWED PILES OF SNOW MELT?
As for the plowed piles, which as you can see above can reach almost 10 feet high before they start coming down, are mostly melted by between April 20 and May 15, most often between April 25 and May 10. The very last little clump of plowed snow that sat in a spot that receives little sun will be gone between May 1 and May 15.
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THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SNOW TOO DEEP

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SNOW TOO DEEP