Pat Shingleton: "The U.P of Michigan and the Greenland Block"
My recent reference of Erie, PA as the “mistake on the Lake” reminded me of an e-mail that I received from George Lane and a similar location. Years ago he wrote “your reference to the "Mistake on the Lake" is surpassed by Michigan Tech, located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.” The peninsula extends into Lake Superior, less than 50 miles from Canada. Chuck noted that the location of the “U.P.” of Michigan provides lake effect snow from three direction and is the reason for nearly 200 inches of snow per year. Numerous episodes of winter weather in the country could be attributed to the “Greenland Block.” This feature is a buckle in the jet stream, a river of air between 25,000 and 35,000 feet, positioned above Greenland. The “block” traditionally shows up a few times each winter, lasting for a couple of weeks. There have been winters when it hasn’t been identified. Its position drives cold air into the eastern United States from central Canada and blocks big storms from sliding up the coast. A shift in the “block” has actually created an avenue to permit winter storms to blast New England then returning to its traditional location when the storms depart. We can expect additional episodes of cold, rainy weather well into February.