Winter storm blankets area, closes schools

MARQUETTE – A low pressure system moving across the area dumped plenty of heavy, wet snow overnight, already shattering the previous snowfall record for today’s date, according to the National Weather Service office in Negaunee Township.

As of about 8 a.m. today, the office had recorded 10.9 inches of snowfall for the day. The previous record, set in 1993 and tied in 2005 was 4.8 inches.

Meteorologist Dave Petrovich said snowfall totals have been coming in steadily all morning, and offer a wide range, from 6 inches reported in Trowbridge Park to 11.3 inches in Hoist Basin.

However, Petrovich said most of the snow, at least for the central Upper Peninsula, has already fallen and precipitation will likely taper off, with an expected 2 to 4 inches of additional accumulation for the rest of the day.

“The system’s picking up speed and moving out at a pretty decent speed,” Petrovich said. “Most areas, especially say, east of a line from Munising toward Escanaba, will receive little if any additional precipitation (today). They’ll be receiving a mix of rain with the snow.”

Out west the snow will keep on falling. Petrovich said people in Keweenaw County can expect up to 6 inches of additional snow today.

The wet snow, combined with warm temperatures, made for slushy road conditions this morning, causing the closure of most schools in Marquette and Alger counties.

Marquette, Alger, Baraga and southern Houghton counties are all under a winter storm warning until 11 p.m.

Ontonogan and Gogebic counties are under a winter weather advisory until 8 p.m.

Keweenaw and northern Houghton counties are under a winter weather advisory until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Petrovich said most area residents can expect the storm to pass by Tuesday.

“We’ll still be seeing some snow showers forming, but fortunately the air temperature is warm enough that we won’t be picking up quite as much lake effect as we would with colder air,” he said.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.