Winter storm to hit area this weekend

More than 10 inches of snow possible

ESCANABA — A snowstorm that will likely arrive in the area Sunday could result in more than 10 inches of snow falling locally. Keith White, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service (NWS)’s Marquette office, spoke about this storm and the impact it could have on the Upper Peninsula.

According to White, the storm is being caused by a low-pressure system that is slowly moving out of the lower Midwest and towards the Great Lakes. White said this system should hit the area on Sunday.

“Especially for the eastern (U.P.), we’re expecting some significant snowfall,” White said. Additionally, northeastern winds could reach speeds of 30-40 miles per hour during the storm.

In most parts of the U.P. (except for the counties of Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, and Keweenaw), more than six inches of snow are likely for Sunday. Some locations in the peninsula could see over a foot of snow during this storm.

White said that the NWS expects at least eight to 10 inches of snow to hit Delta County Sunday. The heaviest snowfall in the county should end by mid-to-late afternoon Sunday, but some light snow is expected through Monday morning.

People living in areas this storm is likely to hit should take precautions to stay safe, White said. As part of this, they should stay put during the storm if possible.

“If you don’t have to be traveling, don’t do it,” he said. White encouraged people who will have to drive Sunday to make sure they have an emergency kit in their vehicle, to have their headlights on, and to drive at a safe speed.

While heavy snowstorms in mid-April are not particularly common in the U.P., White said they are not unprecedented, either.

“(It’s) definitely happened before,” he said. On April 11, 2008, 13.6 inches of snowfall were recorded at the NWS’ Marquette office (which is actually located in Negaunee Township). A two-day system that hit the U.P. on April 15 and 16, 1993 resulted in a total of 22.6 inches of snow falling in the same location.

Even after Sunday’s storm passes, White said people hoping for spring weather in the U.P. will have to wait.

“Unfortunately, we do look to remain below average in temperatures for the remainder of the week,” he said, noting that average highs for this time of year are in the mid-40s. No significant precipitation is forecasted for the rest of the week, though some light snow is possible on Wednesday.

In the longer term, White said the NWS’ Climate Prediction Center’s three-month outlook for April, May, and June calls for a 33 percent chance of above-average temperatures and a 40 percent chance of above-average precipitation in the U.P.