Winter-weary residents treated to yet another snow storm that closes schools, slows traffic

MARQUETTE – Schools in many parts of the Upper Peninsula, including all districts in Marquette and Alger counties, were closed today as Mother Nature dropped up to 8 inches of snow overnight.

“The heavy snow came up through from south to north in the latter part of the evening and overnight,” said Steve Fleegel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at its Negaunee Township office. “The real heavy snow has now shifted to the north of us. What we have now is a hybrid event, an upper atmosphere disturbane with lake enhancement.”

As of early this morning, the city of Marquette had received close to 6 inches of snow, while the Negaunee area had about 7 inches. Areas to the east of Marquette – through Delta, Schoolcraft, Luce and Alger counties – had received 8 inches or more of snow, Fleegel said.

“That’s what we’ve received so far,” he said. “We will see light to moderate snow throughout the day, especially in the higher terrain of Marquette County. There may be a lull later in the afternoon, then the winds will shift and we’ll see more lake enhancement through tonight and into Saturday. In fact, it could be later Saturday afternoon by the time this winds down.”

Fleegel called this a “late winter-like weather system” and said the action isn’t over for winter-weary U.P. residents.

“We have more cold on the horizon,” he said. “And we have rain and snow coming through Sunday into Sunday night and perhaps again Wednesday through Thursday.”

As of 8 this morning, no major traffic accidents had been reported in Marquette County, according to Sgt. Kevin Dowling at the Michigan State Police Post in Negaunee Township.

“There was one minor accident in the city of Marquette and the report of a car up against a guardrail on M-35, but that’s about it,” Dowling said. “With schools closed on a snowy day like this, it cuts down on the traffic out there.

“The major roads have already been plowed and are being salted. Some of the secondary roads will take a little longer. In a spring storm, it can take a few hours for the plows to catch up with things.”

The Marquette Regional History Center was closed today due to the weather while at Northern Michigan University, the 17th annual Jazz Festival was going on as scheduled, but with fewer participants.

“It is unfortunate that many of the schools will not be here as planned, but at this time of the semester and with two guest artists’ schedules to deal with, there is simply no way to reschedule the festival,” said Cindy Paavola, NMU’s director of communications and marketing.

NMU classes were taking place today as regularly scheduled and the jazz festival concert, set for 7:30 p.m. today at Kaufman Auditorium in Marquette, will go on as planned, featuring soloists Jim Snidero and Kathy Kosins with the NMU Jazz Band and Combo.

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Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.