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Old 03-02-2018, 01:58 PM
Location: Rural Wisconsin
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My husband and I are thinking about moving to Door County, and I am confused because according to City Data, it only receives about 50 inches of snow per year. I am confused because that is about what we get in Littleton, Colorado, but there is no way I would say that Littleton has snowy winters! We usually have only about a couple of days of snow per month from October through January that mostly melts in two or three days, while March is usually our snowiest month; and it is very rare that we ever get more than six inches of snow in a 24-hour period. Yet, when I read about Wisconsin winters, it seems that so many people complain about how cold and snowy it is for SO long.

Now, Littleton does have a wide variety of temperatures from October through April -- we literally can have 10 degree and 70 degree highs in the same week! So I am thinking that perhaps the snow lasts because the temperature "never" gets above freezing -- is that right?

Any input would be much appreciated!

Last edited by katharsis; 03-02-2018 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:29 PM
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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WI upnorth gets snow and it stays. So, there is some truth to the "long and cold winters in WI".

However, south of WI (and probably Door county) - at least in the last 3 winters - had little snow that would melt in a day or two. People in WI likes to complain about their winters to justify their love (and need) for beer, but I'd trust City-Data more than complains.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:51 PM
Location: WI
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Op, keep in mind that often totals listed are averages. Snow near the lakeshore can be much heavier than inland. Seems they had one storm this past Jan with a foot and a half near the shore and probably in the 6-10” range in. As noted if there is snow cover the longer cold temps can hold it deeper into the season. And yes some winters will be doozies and others barely enough snow to keep snowmobiles trails open.
Here in the Madison area our avg is also in that 48” area. But late 2000’s we had 2 years with a “once in a lifetime” snow total over 100”. Those years are real treats.
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:41 PM
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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50 inches is a fairly accurate average for Door County. Some winters may be 30 inches (or even less) while others reach 80 inches (or more). Door County is somewhat susceptible to "lake effect" snow events which may drop up to a foot of snow. However, these events are much more rare than on the lee side of the Great Lakes and happen once a winter at most; some winters the lake effect is nil. Snow cover is also variable. Some years (maybe 1 in 5) will see continuous snow cover of three or more months. Most winters, there'll be a snow cover for about 6 weeks or so, preceded and followed by snowfalls which melt in a matter of days or a few weeks.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:42 PM
Location: Wisconsin
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^gymdawg is right.

Here is a map of average snowfall in Wisconsin. Door county gets a bit more than nearby counties for the lake effect.
Link: https://www.weather.gov/images/grb/c...r_snowfall.png

If you scroll down to the "Snow" section on this page there's maps of average days with snow cover. These are a bit outdates but Door county gets about 90 days with 1" of snow on the ground and about 50 days with at least 5" on the ground.
Link: Wisconsin State Climatology Office

The snowfall is less than Littleton, but it stays around longer because most days don't get above freezing. 40 is a warm day, 50 is rare.

Here's the average temperatures from Wikipedia. Littleton has a record high of 78 in January, Sturgeon Bay is only 55.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:35 PM
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The snow seems like more because it stays. Once December hits, temps over 30 are rare. Expect single digits and below zero for most of January. Then in February temps creep back towards teens and 20s. You might get a heat wave in the 30s. Sometimes the occasional day in the 40s.

Consistent days in the 50s and higher don’t really start much until April.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:21 PM
Location: Aurora, CO
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I spent the first 10 years of my life in West Central Wisconsin between La Crosse and Eau Claire. I can tell you without reservation that winters in WI are colder and drearier than they are along the Front Range. That 50" of snow won't come all at once, but it'll stick around a helluva lot longer than a week or two at a time because the daytime highs won't be warm enough to melt the snow like it does here (and it won't be as sunny, either).

Beautiful area of the country, though.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:00 AM
Location: Rural Wisconsin
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Thank you for all the input! MUCH appreciated!!
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:10 AM
Location: IN
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If you like snow as much as I do, the area of Wisconsin that averages the most snowfall is the Lake Superior Snowbelt of Iron, Vilas, and Ashland counties. Visit the snowmobile hall of fame in St. Germain, interesting displays there.
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:46 PM
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We hired an earth mover from a nearby excavating company to dig us out in April. Nearly 30 inches of snow in two days.
Beware living in the woods as we do. We keep our fingers crossed for sunlight to melt the trapped snow and ice from the front walk and driveway in the woods. Almost could walk the gravel driveway for first time in 3 1/2 months and see earth under the ice.....then the final whopper of a winter snowstorm hit.. open fields and roads were clear in two days while we were stuck in our home for 4 days. Could not even walk to mailbox.
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