00-01, 03-04, and 09-10 all prove that we have the ability to get truly Midwestern snow amounts. We just are the most unlucky area for snowfall. People North of us in Norfolk finished above average last winter!
And totally on the back of a single 10-day period in Dec, so did I.
Thinking ahead to what looks likely to be an early autumn, here's what I have for recent examples of similar seasons and how they played out:
'76-77 = earliest on record? Winter was Nov-Jan culminating with the GL's LES bliz for Buffalo, and most belts.
'77-78 = The early part of this historic GL's winter focused on the NW flow LES belts, where it was piling up by mid November. It just got better from there and lasted through Feb! MOA(super)B's in January!!
'89-90 = the December to remember for LES belts and just bitter cold inland locales. Winter was Mid-Nov through Feb. Northern GL's bliz to kick-off on 11/15 was awesome
'95-96 = regular LES squalls started in Oct. By Nov major snowstorms and a bliz on Vet's Day joined in the party. Winter was Nov til mid-Feb. In NMI, Halloween was like Turkey Day, and TD was like Christmas. 6" on Christmas Eve brought depth OTG to 40" at my place up north.
'00-01 = the December to remember even outside of the LES belts. Winter was mid-Nov to the New Year, with little after that. But snow depths across SMI were amazing and lasted well into Jan! The Dec bliz for the Lwr Lakes before Christmas is a once a life-time event. Per Skilling we will see that on avg only once in 50 yrs.
As mentioned, we've had quite a run of early winters across Lwr Mich since 2000-01, but none earlier than the above list. Honorable mentions would go to: 04-05, 07-08. 08-09, & 09-10.
With most recent having been 8 yrs ago, we might just be due..
Winter 2018-19 Snow Total = 47.7" Largest Storm: 2x 7" (1/28-29 & 1/18-19) Oct: 0.0 Nov: 15.2 Dec: 2.0 Jan: 21.7 Feb: 8.8 Mar: 0.0 Apr: 0.0
Annual avg for mby = 49.9" Avg for last 10 seasons = 67.4" (135% of normal)
2017-18 = 68.3" 2016-17 = 52" 2015-16 = 57.4" 2014-15 = 55.3" 2013-14 = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!) 2012-13 = 47.2" 2011-12 = 43.7"
Notable Blizzards/Snowstorms in SWMI: Nov 2015, Feb 2015, Jan 2014, Feb 2011, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Jan 1982, Jan 1979, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, March 1973, Jan 1967, March 1947, Jan 1918
"Long range winter forecasting - it's like tossing darts in a hurricane.." "In my day, they didn't name 'em, they just called 'em blizzards! *Shakes fist in air and ambles away mumbling to himself" “and to think kids nowadays get day's off school because the wind blew. I think in '78 we only got 1 day off” "..It's the U.P. where there are two seasons. Winter, and three months of bad skiing.."