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      Last Very Cold Night

      The last very cold lows of the season occurred last night and early this morning over parts of Upper Michigan. The National Weather Service (NWS) near Negaunee led the way with a record low of 18. It got a lot colder over the fresh snow cover of the far west. The Houghton Country Airport dropped to 12. It hit 10 at Ironwood, 9 at Kenton, 7 degrees at Watersmeet and 4 above at Wakefield.

      The low at the NWS broke the old record of 20 set in 1972. That low must have occurred at midnight, because the record low on the April 25, 1972 is 9 above. That is also the coldest so late in the season at the site. Interestingly but not surprising, snow cover lingered very late into the spring of 1972. The NWS took snowfall measurements in the City of Marquette back then. The data shows the last of the winter snow did not leave the city location until May 4th that year. In the Copper Country, the Daily Mining Gazette reported 67 inches of snow during March and April in 1972. Through the 17th in 2013, their tally showed 53.5 inches. There have been two significant snowstorms since, so it is likely that the â??72 total is exceeded.

      Ironically, the next winter saw one of the lowest snow seasons of the past 50 years. The NWS site near Negaunee recorded only 95.2 inches in the winter of 1972-73. The average at that time was 165.3 inches. The least snowiest season at the site occurred 4 years earlier when a paltry 72.1 inches fell during the winter of 1967-68. This winter, 208.7 inches is the total throught today. The all-time snow-season record, by the way, is a staggering 319.8 inches set during the winter of 2001-02. It is true that climate is the average of extremes!