Nation's snow capital: Sault Ste. Marie
Detroit — News flash: It snows like crazy in the Upper Peninsula. So much so that Boston's much ballyhooed winter looks downright piddly.
The National Weather Service this week announced that Sault Ste. Marie is the nation's leader in snowfall this winter, with 158.7 inches, followed closely by Marquette at 157 inches. Boston, which has received national media attention for its snow, is seventh at 110.3 inches, trailing towns in Maine, Syracuse, N.Y., and Worcester, Mass.
Yoopers took the title in stride. After all, winter hasn't been that bad, said Adam Thill of Thill's Fish House in Marquette.
"Bad compared to what?" he asked. "Snow isn't exactly unusual around here. I'd say it's been a pretty average winter for us."
In fact, this winter in Marquette is below average: Typically, it gets 172.2 inches. That's more than 14 feet for those keeping track at home.
"We like winter around here. We have to," said Steve Lawson, a sales manager at Chippewa Motors, a snowmobile dealer in Sault Ste. Marie. "We're used to it."
This year, Sault Ste. Marie got 48.6 more inches of snow than its average. Put in perspective: That's a smidgen more than Detroit got all this winter, 47.5 inches.
And it's not over. Both U.P. cities could get a couple more inches Wednesday, said Brian Adam, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service station in Gaylord.
"I don't really look at being done with winter until May 1 rolls around," said Adam, whose station covers the eastern Upper Peninsula.
Sault Ste. Marie's snow capital status comes with caveats. The weather service's ranking only covers local climatological data sites, weather stations with long traditions of record-keeping. Undoubtedly, there was more snow in the Rocky Mountains — as well as other towns along Lake Superior in U.P. that probably approached 200 inches, Adam said.
Totals also don't tell the whole story, Adam said. The U.P. began getting snow in late October, but much of it was gone by late December before it fell again. Boston got the bulk of its snow in three weeks in January and February.
Either way, enough is enough, said Lawson.
"There's a point where it gets old," he said. "And we're real close."