Another snowstorm hit Upper Michigan one year ago today. This was the fourth major snowstorm to affect parts or all of Upper Michigan last winter. The storm developed out of low pressure that formed over the southwestern U.S. late the week before. The initial energy that came out of the system brought a warm up and some rain and snow over the weekend (Image 1 above). Then the main energy lifted northeastward into the western Great Lakes Sunday night March 10 and settled into the Great Lakes the next day (Image 2). It was this system that brought the heavy band of snow.
The heaviest snow by far fell in the hills west of Marquette. The main band of snow brought 14.4 inches of snow to the National Weather Service (NWS) site near Negaunee. The city of Marquette had around 7 inches. To the west, a late report out of Baraga had 10.5 inches, while Twin Lakes in Houghton Country had an early morning total of 6.5 inches (thatâ??s likely gone up a few since).
Warmer air and a less favorable position in relation to the low-pressure system that moved up from the southwest meant less snow over southern and eastern portions. Stephenson and Powers in Menominee County each had 5 inches. Iron Mountain had 4.8 inches; Norway 4.4. Gladstone had 3.8 and Newberry 3.2 inches. Out west, Ironwood was too far away from the path of low to get heavy snow and only had 2.3 inches as of mid-morning.
A total of 22.8 inches fell out of the storm at the NWS. It would be the last storm to hit the site head on, but it was not the last one to hit the U.P. A couple of more systems struck mainly the western U.P. in April and even early May. It was an active, wet and cold late winter.
This year, there has been one major snowstorm. That was February 18-19 over the western U.P. There have been no big U.P.-wide storms. Instead, small, â??nickel and dimeâ?? snows have characterized this season. The lake-effect went wild over the Keweenaw, but that basically ended late last month when the lake froze over. The Keweenaw County Road Commission has 277 inches for the seasonâ??thatâ??s a pretty big total. However, there will not be much added to the tally unless a moisture-loaded storm or two swings up from Colorado; as of this writing, the storm track continues suppressed to our south.