Feb 21-12

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2012: February: Feb 21-12
World Famous Snow Thermometer    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Charlie Hopper
Recent Face Lift    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Charlie Hopper
Comparing Formats    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Charlie Hopper

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 07:58 am:

Just north of Mohawk on US-41, the Keweenaw Snow Thermometer had a face lift this fall. The top panorama is an almost-live shot (late yesterday) and the closeup reveals a new font format on this 33 foot icon. In the third photo we lay side-by-side the image that has appeared on our Snow Thermometer page since 1995, next to the new look. We'll let you be the judge of style preference.

One mysterious thing I've noticed over the years, is the changing claim for "lowest" snowfall. On the old shot - taken in the winter of 1994 by a video camera - the all-time low is claimed to be 81.3 inches in 1930-31. Around 2005 there was an update of the old format that suddenly listed a low of 161.1 inches in 1999-2000:

Maybe somebody from the road commission could shed some light on this revision.

Did you know, this is the very spot where this website was conceived? We could write a book about it, and perhaps sometime we will, but for now let me mention that a new feature has been added to the old Snow Thermometer page: Current gas prices in the Keweenaw. With all the recent attention on the world oil situation, we thought it might be helpful if you'll be visiting this year.

Join me next Sunday for a special Shoebox Memory, which will include more about this weather gauge as we conclude 14 years of the Daily Pasty Cam, and reminisce about how it all began.
Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 08:02 am:

Will never forget the winter of 78-79 as long as I live. We'd shovel in the morning and shovel at night, lol!! We thought it would never stop snowing. The kids had a blast that winter, though!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 08:13 am:

78-79 was a bad winter here in eastern Iowa too. Some how my horses got out and had a heyday!

By James W. Hird (Wvyooper) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 08:17 am:

OK What's up with the math? I just hope it was not a Tech grad responsible for this. It looks like someome forgot to get their history right. You know what they say about history repeating it self if you fail to heed the past.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 08:28 am:

I'm thinking that was the winter when the Ohio River froze at Cincinnati and we had lots and lots of snow.

By Kenty (Dashamo) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 08:46 am:

Looking at both thermometers, one of them had snowfall amounts from 1910-92, the other from 1957-2011. That would account for the different "all time low" numbers.

By Diana P. (Diana) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 08:48 am:

Something is definitely amiss with the "All Time Low" ... hope it will be cleared up! Why not cover 1910 to 2011? :)

By James W. Hird (Wvyooper) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 09:11 am:

I agree with the latest posts. Just why did they drop the early dates and amounts. Do they not believe the people that measured the snow in 1910 knew how to read a scale. Sorry! Ruler for those of you none engineering people.

By JAD, Orgnst (Jandalq) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 09:20 am:

In August of 1978 I moved from mid-town Houghton to 4 miles out on the Houghton Canal Road. I had about 2500 sq. ft. of driveway and paths to "blow." Each weekday morning I cleared the driveway in order to get over to Hancock in time to open the Suomi library by 8 am and, on Sundays, to get to church to practice the organ. Often I would get back home late to find a plow drift across the mouth of the driveway. Our winters then, added to the Yooper sense of pioneering, survival, pluck, or SISU. I value that. 1978-79 and the next 10 years were a Winter Wonderland.

By Nick Karjala (Nmkarjala) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 09:28 am:

Shirley: You are right about lots of snow the winter of 1978-79 here in Ohio. My van was snowed in for a weekend at a friend's apartment in Bowling Green, Ohio where she and several BGU student nurses provided me with a place to stay until streets and highways were cleared of snow.

By JAD, Orgnst (Jandalq) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 09:53 am:

I have to add, however I do recall riding my bike out to The Breakers on Christmas Day of 1994!

By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 09:54 am:

Evidently they wanted to tighten the historical window, although I don't know why they'd want to do that, since the 1930-31 snowfall was so much lower than the 1999-00 one. The more recent one certainly isn't an "all-time low." They could have had both on there. I'm not too wild about the new font. You can hardly see the decimal point for the 1999-00 measurement. Looks like 1611 instead of 161.1. Although the letters seem a little larger, they look thinner; might make it difficult to read from the road. Otherwise, it looks spiffy (nicely painted).

By David C Cloutier (Dccloutier) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 11:25 am:

Hmmm. I guess this shows that sometimes change is not an improvement.

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 11:26 am:

The blizzard of '78 was memorable even in Kalamazoo where we were used to lake effect. I was living downtown and after they plowed I went cross-country skiing. The safest and easist going was on the packed mounds at the curb, so I was tooling along up there when my ski pole hit something metallic. I was on top of a buried car.

By Ryan Hultquist (Gildmirth) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 11:40 am:

Bad logic however you slice it. Makes no sense to use the term "All time" in any case, because the measuring of snowfall goes back only for a sliver of history. It is much worse to choose a subset of the known history yet still call the value the "All time" low - there is intent there, a deliberate exclusion of known information. My cynical nature suggests that the purpose is to program into people the notion that the mildest winters were recent, in accordance with Global Warming orthodox religion.

By fy1 (Formeryooper1) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 12:45 pm:

My guess is they adjusted the time line to reflect continueous use at one location (Deleware); prior to 1957 was measured somewhere else (maybe Eagle River?) which does not get as much snow as the highlands of the Keewenaw. In other words, prior to 1957 totals were bringing down the average, which is probably true.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 01:02 pm:

JAD, I had similar experiences with a snowplow driver in ND. We had a wide sloping concrete driveway to the basement garage and the snow always drifted down into that area. I'd get out early and (no blower) shovel the whole thing, then sometime later here came the plow, leaving a high mound of snow/ice across the entrance. One day it 'ticked' me off and I called the smalltown office and complained. In no time the plow driver was back clearing what he'd left. I suppose the reason I took that attitude was because the driver lived up the street from us and I often saw him using the town-plow to keep his parking spot clear. Pretty much took care of my problem.;)

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 02:54 pm:

Guess some things sometimes have 2 b repaired or replaced.

By Gary Bjornrud (Bjornrg) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 03:43 pm:

Yup, many mysterious things happen in the Keweenaw ... pure air and the Snow thermometer are wonderful fragments of the life 'up north' ... what often seems commonplace are artifacts of the simpler, clean life of the wonderful copper country. Every day in the copper country is a blessing!!

By Robert - CO (Halork) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 05:37 pm:

OK, it looks like the snow thermometer has been repainted (at least) since I posted a picture with all the new statistics back in 2006. I seem to remember a discussion somewhere that the old stats were actually taken at the Houghton County Airport, which is of course not even in Keweenaw County, and that's why the numbers were changed. Don't hold me to that 'til someone digs it out of the archives though.

By Peter Ouillette (Peterouillette) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 06:04 pm:

Growing up, several times each summer we'd drive from Ripley north to Copper Harbor where the cottage was. Every time we passed the "thermometer" in my youngest years I tried to figure out how all that snow could fall but it never got that deep on the ground.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 06:47 pm:

I am quite sure there was no money in the budget to keep them both up....

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 07:11 pm:

I find it quite odd as well why the change in years for the thermometer. Usually, one always wants more data to prove a point, unless one wants to hide something....

By ILMHitCC (Ilmhitcc) on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 10:37 am:

Thank you to the the people who maintain this wonderful local landmark. I'm so glad we have it and can keep it because of your efforts. And, shame on you conspiracy-fear mongers who are so quick to make wild, cruel accusations based purely on random guesses and your own bitter imagination. Please put down your keyboards, get out of your easy-chair, pick up a hammer, paintbrush or shovel and go do something useful.

By carol fischer (Carolinky) on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 10:08 am:

It looks like they changed the date time line to reflect more recent snowfall/ it goes from 1957 to 2011 on the new one, which would not include the lowest all time on the old one/ 1910-1992

By Christopher Lynn (X87lynn) on Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 01:29 pm:

I agree with Ryan - The global warming hoaxers have already demonstrated that they will deliberatly hide data & lie to promote their agenda

By JasonBitter (Snowlover) on Friday, March 2, 2012 - 05:16 pm:

Christopher and Ryan - I would love to see your scientific data showing how Global Climate Change is a hoax! I guess you two must work for the coal and petroleum industry, seeing as how they don't have any agenda. Have you not noticed a downward trend in snowfall totals over the past three winters?

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, March 2, 2012 - 10:11 pm:

JasonBitter (Snowlover):

"Christopher and Ryan - I would love to see your scientific data showing how Global Climate Change is a hoax! I guess you two must work for the coal and petroleum industry, seeing as how they don't have any agenda. Have you not noticed a downward trend in snowfall totals over the past three winters?"

Have you read the (click→) Global Warming thread on this site?

It was started on November 20, 2007, and the latest entry is May 30, 2010. There's quite a bit to read.

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