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      2-11/12-1965: Worst Storm in Years

      A broad area of low pressure formed from New Mexico into Texas the morning of February 11, 1965.

      Much of the Upper Peninsula was nearly paralyzed by a severe snowstorm on February 11-12, 1965. The snow was preceded by a coating of ice, which made roads even more treacherous. A total of 15.1 inches of snow fell in Marquette, with a calendar-day record of 10 inches in Iron Mountain and Munising and 12 inches at Houghton. The storm was judged the worst since a 16.1-inch snowfall eighteen years before. The storm developed out of a broad low-pressure area over Texas that intensified and drove northeastward to the Lower Peninsula on the morning of the 12th (Images 1 and 2 above).

      High winds brought blizzard conditions and whipped the snow into five-foot drifts. The Weather Bureau in Marquette measured steady north winds at 28 miles-an-hour with frequent gusts to 40. During the height of the storm, main sections of Marquette County highways were blocked by giant snow drifts. All Marquette and Alger County schools were closed.

      The rest of February 1965 turned out to be a colder than average month. However, after the big storm snowfall was light. Only three inches fell through the rest of the month. The first half of March that year was mild, but a strong blocking pattern led to the coldest late-March weather in history.

      No big storms are in the offing. However, an Alberta low will move at us late Wednesday night and Thursday. It should bring at least some light accumulation to parts of the U.P. Then, colder air will spill in as the system pulls away later in the week.