Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brown Snow Fell from the Ski + Winter Beach Hike -- Post 2

This past Sunday in the western U.P. there was something different falling from the sky. Brown snow was reported in many areas across the upper Midwest on Sunday. The cause? Strong southerly winds kicked up dirt and dust in the Plains. These winds were out ahead of a storm system that brought snow to our region. When the snow fell, it appeared to have a brownish tint. This isn't the first time this has happened. Two years ago we had the same type of occurrence, but that snow actually had a reddish hue to it because the dust came out of New Mexico or west Texas that was brought up in the storm system and transported all the way up here to Upper Michigan. Meteorologists were able to track the dust cloud as it moved northwards from Kansas. The dirt particles picked up reached thousands of feet in height. Below are satellite pictures as well as a picture of the brown snow.

Here are the rest of the photos I took the other day on my winter beach hike.

Even though there is shore ice, there are still some rocks showing up the beach.  For you rockhounds who are thinking about coming north to agate hunt -- it is still a bit early.  There are not enough rocks to make it worthwhile.  Notice the wave splashing in the background.  Some people call these "ice volcanoes."

I love the contrast between snow and sand.  Notice the agate-like banding.

I decided to head up the middle steps at Woodland Park.  When I got there, I realized there is a tree that fell over the steps.  I was able to crawl under the tree.

Here is a winter view of the park office. 

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