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      April 10: Another Winter Storm on the Way

      Another major snowstorm is on the way for Upper Michigan. While the majority of snow has left places like Escanaba and Menominee, there is still a thick covering in parts of the north. As of this morning, Munising and Champion still had 26 inches on the ground; the National Weather Service (NWS) site near Negaunee reported 33 inches; Grand Marais had 34 inches and a location inland from Big Bay in northern Marquette County still had a 42-inch snow cover.

      There are recent years that had big snow covers and late snows. For instance, April 2008 started with a major snowstorm followed by another one on April 11-12. In 1996, April started with over two feet of snow on the ground at the NWS. The big snows didn??t start until near mid-month, with the largest snowstorm occurring on the 29th and 30th that year.

      The aspect that??s remarkable about this year is temperatures. The warmest day so far at the NWS since early January is 42 degrees, which occurred a week ago. The high has not reached 50 yet at the NWS. On the other hand, on this date in 1996, the high hit 56 degrees; in 2008, the temperature went to 52 degrees on both April 3rd and 4th. So far this spring is beating both of those backward springs in the degree of cold. That??s why we have more snow on the ground on this date then both 1996 and 2008. By the way, the latest 50-degree high at the NWS site occurred on April 26, 1965. With over two weeks to go until the record, I??d put the odds at about 50/50 of reaching it.

      Now to the latest storm; the low-pressure area over Illinois will drift northward as the upper-low over the Plains begins lifting toward the Great Lakes. Snow will probably begin over the south in the morning Thursday and then spread slowly northeastward. It looks like mainly snow for the entire Upper Peninsula as strong high pressure to our north feeds in cold, dry air. The far south around Menominee may have some sleet mixed in to hold down accumulations a bit. Otherwise, it looks like a wet, heavy snow. The heaviest accumulations are likely from Thursday night into Friday. Over the north and east, snow may not end completely until Saturday morning.

      As for amounts, a general 4 to 8 inches are expected across the U.P. Heavier amounts are likely over the north, especially in the higher elevations where amounts in excess of 10 inches are possible.