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      Cold Shoulders: Looking back at Michigan's Upper Michigan's weather for 2013

      This latest arctic blast ensures we finish the year on a cold, snowy note. Looking back on 2013, you'll recall a cold, snowy spring and the kids enjoyed several snow days. That was good news for both young and old. Mike Coyne, local snowmobile enthusiast, said, "It's great that itâ??s almost April; here we are, still snowmobiling." Heâ??s not alone in his sentiment. Many businesses benefitted from an extended winter this year. Aside from January, we saw temperatures well below average for the entire first half of 2013 and we dealt with above average precipitation. With the extended winter and extra snow, the rainy spring also brought widespread flooding problems to Upper Michigan. Flooding closed M-28 for a time at the end of April.

      But the snow persisted well into spring. By April 21, the National Weather Service office in Negaunee observed the highest snow depth on record for that date of 32 inches. We even saw snow on Mother's Day. In fact, May 2013 turned out to be the sixth snowiest May on record.

      The cool, soggy weather carried right into FinnFest, although folks still managed to have a great time!

      And what summer would be complete without a heat wave and severe weather? We had a brief bout with both. We spoke with Kathleen Hietala, who had a pine tree split her house in two like a knife through birthday cake! Hereâ??s what she said about her experience, â??I could hear things hitting the top of the house and all of a sudden there was this God-awful noise that I can't even describe, and the next thing I knew, this mammoth pine tree just fell through the kitchen roof, split the house in half."

      Luckily, most of September and October was warm and relatively tranquil. It was perfect hiking and leaf-peeping weather! But that was really the only break we enjoyed. By the end of October, the snow came.

      Since then, we've seen below average temperatures and above average snowfall. As of December 26, the official monthly snowfall reading at NWS office was nearly 44". That's 8" above the average of 35.8"

      Of course the Keweenaw has been busy as well. Keweenaw County saw 108.5" just in December and 137" so far this season. And they have nearly three feet of snow on the ground!

      It's the same story on the east end where Newberry has seen 51.2" in December. That's 18" above they're average so far. This is already the twelfth coldest year on record at the National Weather Service office in Negaunee, and more cold air and snow are on the way as we close the books on 2013!

      Hereâ??s to living in Upper Michigan, where the â??white goldâ??, as itâ??s known, makes it someplace special!