Michigan campuses ranked for—what else?—snow

By EVAN KREAGER

Capital News Service

LANSING — Two of the 10 snowiest college campuses in the nation are right here in Michigan, according to a list published by the AccuWeather forecasting service.

Snow sculpture at Michigan Tech’s winter carnival. Image: Michigan Technological University

Snow sculpture at Michigan Tech’s winter carnival. Image: Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University in Houghton at the northernmost part of the Upper Peninsula ranked first with an average of nearly 200 inches of snowfall annually.

And the eighth snowiest campus is Western Michigan University, the weather service says. On average, the Kalamazoo University receives 67 inches of snow each year.

Placing No. 1in the country isn’t surprising at Michigan Tech, said Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations for the school.

“It’s snowed almost every single day since the first of December,” she said. “I’ve got 6-foot snow banks outside my windows at home.”

The weather is perfect for the school’s annual Winter Carnival that continues until Feb. 8 and includes an all night snow-sculpting contest. Michigan Tech even owns its own ski hill, Mont Ripley.

“The little city of Houghton is well equipped for this,” Donovan said.

Snow sculpture at Michigan Tech’s winter carnival. Image: Michigan Technological University

Snow sculpture at Michigan Tech’s winter carnival. Image: Michigan Technological University

So well, that it hasn’t closed this year and only twice in the past seven years.

The Western Michigan University campus has already exceeded the annual average with about 75 inches, said Cheryl Roland, executive director of university relations.

Students have been posting “wonderful pictures” of snow on campus to social media sites, she said. “They are proud with the designation, and rightfully so.”

Seven of the nation’s snowiest college campuses are located in Great Lakes states, reports Accuweather. All seven beat the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which ranked No. 10.

In the winter, the Great Lakes region experiences lake effect snow, which would explain the high percentage of snowy campuses in the area. As cold air gusts across the lakes, it meets the warm air rising off the water, creating lots of snow by the time the mixture hits the shore.

Here’s the entire list of the top 10 snowiest college campuses in the nation:

10. University of Alaska Fairbanks – Fairbanks, Ala.
62 inches of snow per year

9. Cornell University – Ithaca, N.Y.
65 inches of snow per year

8. Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, Mich.
67 inches of snow per year

7. Southern New Hampshire University – Hooksett, N.H.
69 inches of snow per year

6. University of Vermont – Burlington, Vt.
81 inches of snow per year

5. University of Minnesota Duluth – Duluth, Minn.
86 inches of snow per year

4. University at Buffalo, State University of New York – Buffalo, N.Y.
94 inches of snow per year

3. University of Rochester – Rochester, N.Y.
99 inches of snow per year

2. Syracuse University – Syracuse, N.Y.
124 inches of snow per year

1. Michigan Technological University – Houghton, Mich.
200 inches of snow per year

Evan Kreager reports for Great Lakes Echo

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