It's been a weirdly mild winter in Michigan so far. Temperatures have been well above freezing on average, and The Great Lakes are showing a 50-year low, near RECORD low amounts of ice coverage.

But we're used to snow and ice in Michigan, which means many activities, and businesses, rely on it each year. Which is why snow removal companies, who are normally very busy this time of year, are in trouble. 

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By this time in an average year, places in southwest Michigan, like Kalamazoo, should have seen around 25 inches of snow. Obviously, lake effect events will greatly sway those amounts in any given year.

But the 2023-24 winter may go down as one of the driest, and warmest on record, as Kalamazoo has only seen 7.1 inches of snow, which is about a Foot-and-a-Half below average.

That lack of winter precipitation has taken a toll on some businesses that rely on the winter weather.

On the east side of the state, in Detroit, they would have normally seen 9 inches of snow in December, but barely registered any on the ground.

"It's been really, really light. Way behind average. It was just a real quick salting, partial application. Other than that, we really haven't been out at all. We're concerned about our guys getting enough hours. And we need them to be available for those snow events - for when it does snow."

Adam DeLamielleure of Troy Clogg Landscape Associates told Fox 2 in Detroit, if things don't change quick, he may have to do some serious pivoting by the end of winter.

"We generate our sales based on an average winter, so it's going to be less than last year."

When is our next snow coming?

There's some potentially good news on the horizon, though. A winter weather system is expected to impact west Michigan in the second week of January, and  could produce enough snow for crews to be necessary.

Forecasters are saying a little more than three inches could fall across west Michigan in the middle of the week, and additional lake effect snow, and another winter system in the weekend could bring another 6-8 inches in some places.

This might give area snow removal companies SOME work in the next two weeks, it's still nowhere near where we're supposed to be, and will still affect the bottom line for these companies, unless something MAJOR happens in the next couple months.

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Gallery Credit: Canva

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