Close eye kept on rising waters

MARQUETTE – National Weather Service forecasters in Negaunee Township are advising the public of possible flooding over the next few days as above normal temperatures are expected to bring spring-like conditions to the region.

“After seeing a winter-like pattern across the upper Great Lakes for much of April, the pattern will rapidly shift to a spring-like one, bringing above normal temperatures to upper Michigan starting (today),” forecasters said in a weather advisory.

High temperatures predicted today were expected to reach 56 in Marquette County, followed by 66 inland and 59 at the Lake Superior shore Saturday and 67 degrees Sunday, before cooling slightly back to highs between 54 and 59 degrees Monday. Weekend overnight lows were predicted in the 40s.

“These above normal temperatures are expected to remain across the area through early next week, if not beyond,” the NWS said. “These warm temperatures will allow the well above normal snowpack across west and north central upper Michigan to melt starting this weekend.”

The weather service said in the western and northern Upper Peninsula, much of the snowpack is holding 5 to 10 inches of liquid and over 12 inches of liquid equivalent in parts of north central and northwest upper Michigan.

Some local areas already showed higher stream flows over the past couple of days, including the Chocolay and Carp rivers near Marquette. The Chocolay River near Harvey was at 7.79 feet Thursday afternoon. Flood stage for the river is 10 feet.

“The snow-melt will allow area rivers, creeks and streams to quickly rise starting (today) and continuing into next week,” the NWS said. “Some snow-melt flooding of area rivers and streams is expected starting as early as Sunday.”

The weather service said it was too early to determine the exact impacts from any potential flooding and advised those living or working near rivers, creeks and streams throughout the western and central U.P. to pay attention to the latest water levels this weekend into next week.

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John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.