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      What does the lack of snow mean for local communities?

      We hadn't received a lot of snow in the last few weeks, but Tuesday was one of the first significant snowfalls. Our Facebook viewers want to know, how does the lack of snow affect the U.P.? According to the National Weather Service Climate Data as of Monday, in Negaunee we were currently 16.7 inches below our average snowfall of 35.8 for December. With only about half of our usual snowfall, our Facebook viewers can't quite agree if our mild weather creates a winter wonderland.

      Lee Rowe writes: "It's nice having a white Christmas, but not so much snow that family and friends couldn't travel. Just enough to cover the ground." While Jenny Engstrom writes, "I'm actually getting depressed due to no snow; I need snow to play in and starve off cabin fever." That's a sentiment ski jumpers in the Ishpeming Ski Club may agree on. There hasn't been enough snow to create a base on the jumps for the season, landing them a month behind their usual practice schedule.

      "The kids haven't jumped for two months now; it puts a damper on setting up the season," says Vice President of the Ishpeming Ski Club, Bob Hendrickson. This week the typical holiday snowmobile boom isn't happening in Ishpeming; an impact that hurts business for the entire Country Village shopping area. But, they say it won't take much to turn that around. When 18 inches of snow falls, the paths should be ready to go in a matter of days. Business owners say while the tourists may not be here now, they expect to see them when the snow comes.

      "The days of people just planning and coming regardless have went by the wayside. Now they'll plan, and if the snow isn't here, they'll cancel and then come back," says Ryan Lamere, Marketing Director for Country Village.

      Many parts of the U.P. did receive several inches of snow Tuesday. Winter tourism business owners say that a delayed start to the season has been typical for the past few years.